A deadly New Year stampede has left 61 people dead in the Ivory Coast. On Jan. 1, FOX News reported that the death toll is expected to rise after a stampede following a fireworks display. According to the report, the majority of deaths were of kids between the ages of 8 and 15.
"The flood of people leaving the stadium became a stampede which led to the deaths of more than 60 and injured more than 200," said Col. Issa Sako. Several other people were wounded and are still in the hospital today. The President, Alassane Ouattara, visited some of the injured in the hospital and offered government assistance to pay for any medical expenses accrued by those involved.
The deadly New Year stampede has left several parents desperate to find their children and to figure out if they had been killed. "I have just seen all the bodies, but I cannot find my son. I don't know what to do," said Mamadou Sanogo. His 9-year-old son's body is missing.
The fireworks were meant to celebrate peace -- and new beginnings -- after a bout of violence swept through the country in 2011. This was the second annual celebration but sadly this year ended in tragedy. It is unknown if the fireworks tradition will continue next year. For now, people are focused on identifying bodies and preparing after-life services.
The deadly New Year stampede occurred when crowds moved from the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium to Boulevard de la Republic by the Hotel Tiama.
© Effie Orfanides 2013