45 died in stampede at Magufuli tribute, On Tuesday Tanzanian police announced that 45 people had died during a stampede in Dares Salaam on March 21 as mourners paid their last respects to the late president John Magufuli.
Magufuli died aged 61 from what authorities say was a heart condition, after a mysterious absence of almost three weeks, and questions remain over the true cause of his death which the opposition says was from Covid-19.
His deputy Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the country’s first female president and led the ceremonies bidding him farewell.
The crush took place when thousands of grieving citizens tried to push their way into a stadium in the city to bid farewell to their leader, whose sudden death after a mysterious absence was announced on March 17.
“There were a lot of people who wanted to get in the stadium, and some were not patient. They tried to force their way in and that resulted in a stampede. Forty-five died in the accident,” Dar es Salaam regional police commander Lazaro Mambosasa told AFP.
Five of the deceased were from the same family, Mambosasa said. A woman and four children were earlier reported crushed in the accident at Uhuru Stadium, though the true toll of the stampede was not announced at the time.
Mambosasa said several dozen were also injured in the crush but most had been released from the hospital.
Magufuli’s body was transported to the major cities of Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Zanzibar, Mwanza and Geita, before being finally laid to rest in his ancestral village of Chato, in the country’s northwest, on March 26.
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