Flowers are left by a sign reading “to our victims” in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Wednesday Jan. 2, 2013. Survivors of a stampede in Ivory Coast that killed 61 people, most of them children and teenagers, after a New Year’s Eve fireworks display at a stadium said that barricades stopped them from moving along a main boulevard, causing the crush of people. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara ordered three days of national mourning and launched an investigation into to the causes of the tragedy but two survivors, in interviews with The Associated Press, indicated why so many died in what would normally be an open area, the Boulevard de la Republic. An estimated 50,000 people had gathered in Abidjan’s Plateau district to watch the fireworks. (AP Photo/Emanuel Ekra)
Ivory Coast’s health minister says the death toll in the New Year’s stampede has risen to 64.
Health Minister Raymonde Goudou, speaking to the press, said three more people died in addition to the 61 who were killed from being trampled when thousands left a New Year’s fireworks display. She said 26 people who had been missing after the chaos of the stampede were located in various hospitals in Abidjan.
Goudou said that the government will close its investigation into the tragic stampede and will issue a report later.
The Front Populaire Ivorien, the opposition party of former President Laurent Gbagbo, issued a statement criticizing Interior Minister Hamed Eakayoko for not taking adequate security measures for the fireworks display in central Abidjan on New Year’s Eve.