Yemen stampede during charity distribution kills over 80
One of the deadliest stampedes in a decade occurred in war-torn Yemen during a charity distribution on Thursday, killing 85 people and injuring over 322 people, according to Houthi officials.
The tragic incident occurred in Yemen before the Muslim festival Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. A charity event was held in the Bab Al-Yemen district in Sana’a. A Houthi security official said that a stampede killed 85 people and injured more than 322 people. The official told AFP (Agence France-Presse), “Women and children were among the dead.” A second health official confirmed that 85 people died in the stampede.
According to AFP, the tragic incident took place inside a school in the capital. The aid was being distributed inside the school, according to witnesses. Many people were about to receive handouts. After the tragic incident, people were taken to nearby hospitals.
Yemen’s interior ministry said in a statement that people responsible for the distribution event were taken into custody. The ministry reportedly said that “dozens of people were killed due to a stampede during a random distribution of sums of money by some merchants.”
Mahdi Al-Mashat, the Chairman of the Supreme Political Council and the Houthi rebel’s political chief, revealed that a committee was formed to investigate the incident. Reportedly, three people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the distribution ceremony.
The videos of the event were circulated on social media. It showed bodies lying on the ground. Another video showed large crowds at one hospital entrance.
Yemen has already been impacted by the war. The Houthi militia ousted the Saudi-backed government from Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, in late 2014. The Houthi militia is the authority in northern Yemen. Many people in Yemen are deprived of their basic needs due to the war.