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12.10.2008 Football News

No deaths recorded at Essipong stadium

Painstaking inquiries conducted at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital at Sekondi and the Essikado hospital on Sunday indicate that there were no deaths recorded during a stampede at the Essipong stadium when the national team, the Black Stars played their Lesotho counterparts in a World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.
“The hospitals are the nearest health facilities where victims of the incidents would be rushed”, health officials of the hospitals told the GNA Sports on Sunday.
Officers at the Sekondi and Essikado Police Stations also said they have no knowledge of any such reported deaths as no such incident was recorded in their station diaries.
At the Effia-Nkwanta hospital, Mr. Christopher Dadzie, Officer on duty at the hospital's mortuary where reports said the body of victims were deposited denied that any dead body was deposited at the morgue on the day.
Madam Gifty Solomon on duty at the Accident and Emergency Ward of the Regional Hospital also denied that there were deaths recorded during the incident.
Dr. K. Lawson of the Essikado Hospital told GNA Sports that no such incident was reported at the hospital on Saturday.
Police Chief Superintendent Francis Ebenezer Doku, Western Regional Police Operations Officer on Saturday told Newsmen that a man and a woman sustained injuries during the stampede and were rushed to the Effia-Nkwanta hospital where they were treated and discharged.
Some soccer fans who were eager to enter the stadium were said to have forced their way thus causing the collapse of the West and East gates of the stadium resulting in the injury of the two.

Many radio stations reported that three or more soccer fans actually died during the incident at the stadium gates.
The 20,000 capacity stadium was over filled many hours before the game actually got underway which the Black Stars won 3-0.
Many fans stood at unapproved areas including the walkways and the entrance to the seats forcing officials and security personnel having a hectic time trying to stop more fans from entering the stadium for fear of disaster.
Areas designated for the media were taken over completely by soccer fans and many Sports Journalists had to stand on their feet till the end of the match.