Tragic stampede at charity event in Yemen leaves over 80 dead, hundreds injured

Picture courtesy of South China Morning Post.

Over 80 people have tragically lost their lives, and hundreds more were injured in a stampede that took place at a charity distribution event in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. This devastating mishap occurred just before the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, a festival observed by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the end of Ramadan.

The impoverished citizens of war-torn Yemen had converged at a local school, eagerly awaiting cash donations of 5,000 Yemeni Rials (approximately US$8). Sadly, a chaotic crush ensued in the Bab al-Yemen district, resulting in a tragic loss of life. A Huthi security official confirmed that women and children were among the casualties.

In the aftermath of this heartbreaking incident, the Huthi-run interior ministry revealed that the dead and wounded had been transported to hospitals, while those responsible for organizing the event have been arrested. Shocking footage released by Al Masirah television channel depicted a horrifying scene, with individuals clambering atop each other amidst a dense and suffocating crush.

Security personnel and workers at the scene frantically attempted to pull people out of this dire situation, urging them to turn back as panic continued to escalate. According to Mohamed Ali al-Huthi, the head of the Huthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, overcrowding was the chief cause of the stampede. Locals suggest that gunfire triggered mass hysteria.

Related news

Following this catastrophe, anguished family members flocked to hospitals in search of their loved ones. An AFP correspondent reported witnessing large crowds outside one hospital entrance, with security forces blocking relatives from accessing the school’s premises.

In the wake of this calamity, the Huthi rebel’s political chief Mahdi al-Mashat has announced the formation of an investigative committee to examine the incident. Meanwhile, a Huthi security official confirmed that three people have been detained on suspicion of involvement.

The ongoing civil war in Yemen has created one of the worst humanitarian crises on the planet, as identified by the United Nations. With over two-thirds of the country’s population living below the poverty line, more than 21.7 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance this year. The stampede tragedy follows a major prisoner exchange between the warring parties in Yemen, which saw almost 900 detainees freed over the weekend.

World News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles