NAIROBI - Seven people have been killed in a stampede at a football stadium in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, officials say.
The crush happened as a crowd tried to enter Nyayo National Stadium to watch a match between two of Kenya’s most popular teams.
Six people died at the stadium while another person died later in hospital, a Kenyan Red Cross official said. The Premier League match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards continued despite the deaths.
Jack Oguda, head of the Kenya Premier League, was reported as saying an inquiry would be launched to establish why fans could not access the stadium, which he said was not full.
“A gate was broken into by fans forcing their way into the stadium,” AP news agency quoted Mr Oguda as saying. “Access was limited and they got agitated, and that’s why they forced their way in.”
One eyewitness, Victor Opiyo, said he found “people lying on each other like charcoal, some under metal bars pressed so hard, women, children and even big men, they were there dying”.
The BBC’s Will Ross in Nairobi says that the game was stopped only for a few minutes after the stampede, and that most people inside the stadium were probably not aware of what was happening outside.
The decision not to stop the game was possibly made to avoid more ugly scenes in a stadium filled with tens of thousands of fired-up supporters, our correspondent says.
A stampede at the same stadium, in 2005, killed one fan, leading Fifa to temporarily ban its use in the World Cup qualifiers.