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May 14, 2018 | Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone police open probe into inauguration stampede

AFP
An injured woman being carried away on a stretcher at the ceremony.  By Saidu BAH (AFP/File)
An injured woman being carried away on a stretcher at the ceremony. By Saidu BAH (AFP/File)

Police in Sierra Leone opened an investigation into a stampede at the country's main stadium during the weekend inauguration of the new president in which one man was killed and 90 were injured.

Some arrests have been made but no one has been charged so far, a police statement said.

Sierra Leone Red Cross Society spokesman Abu-Bakr Tarawally on Monday updated the number of injured to 90 following Saturday's crush at Freetown's main stadium.

"We can confirm that 90 people were injured at the stadium stampede on inauguration day, some suffered, fractures, injuries with severe bleeding and suffocation," he said.

According to stadium management, over 50,000 people attended the inauguration, far exceeding the stadium capacity of 45,000.

"Some fainted and collapsed at pavilions while others jumped to the pitch and suffered fractures,"

The deceased is a 50-year-old man who travelled from Liberia to witness Julius Maada Bio being sworn in.

Bio took office in early April after a tumultuous election campaign, ending a decade-long rule by the All People's Congress (APC).

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