At least nine people have died, including two 12-year-old children, following a stampede at a rock music festival marking Guatemalan Independence Day.
The tragedy unfolded in the early hours of Thursday (15 September) in the city of Quetzaltenango, about 125 miles west of Guatemala City.
More than 20 people were also injured in the incident, with several requiring hospital treatment for suspected fractures. Thousands of concertgoers were reportedly in attendance at the annual outdoor show in Central America’s most populous country. The event, which started on Wednesday afternoon, was reportedly sponsored by a beer maker and held on a field often used for music shows.
“The Guatemalan Red Cross and volunteer firefighters stabilised more than 20 injured people and nine people died at the scene”
“The Guatemalan Red Cross and volunteer firefighters stabilised more than 20 injured people and nine people died at the scene,” tweeted the relief agency.
Incidente #MúltiplesVíctimas en Quetzaltenango 🚨
Estampidas humanas se registraron durante evento masivo en 9a. Calle 0-20 zona 9 de Quetzaltenango.#CruzRojaGT junto a @CVBxela estabilizaron a más de 20 personas heridas y 9 personas fallecieron en el lugar. pic.twitter.com/sPlvWurrsT
— CruzRojaGT (@CRGuatemalteca) September 15, 2022
The Associated Press reports that a number of attendees were crushed during rock band Bohemia Suburbana’s closing performance, as people tried to leave as others were entering.
“Because of the rain there was a lot of mud,” says Nancy Quemé, who attended the concert. “I think because of this the people couldn’t move and they fell.”
Social media videos show dozens of concertgoers smashing into each other and people piled on top of one another on the ground. CBS News notes that shouts can be heard calling for people to stop pushing and to move to one side so those who fell could be rescued.
The report adds that Quetzaltenango city manager Amilcar Rivas said the event had a permit but organisers did not have a grip on security and crowd control.
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