Dar es Salaam, Mar 30 (efe-epa).- At least 45 people died in a stampede at Uhuru Stadium in the Tanzanian capital when tens of thousands rushed to bid farewell to the country’s deceased president, police said Tuesday.
Thirty-seven others were injured in the crush on March 21, but they have all been released from hospital, according to the police.
“Those people were not criminals. They went to the stadium to express their love for the former leader. But there were a lot of people who wanted to get in and some were impatient,” Dar es Salaam regional police commander Lazaro Mambosasa told local media.
Among the stampede victims were five members of the same family, including a woman and two children.
John Magufuli died of heart failure at the age of 61 on March 17. His death was surrounded by rumors from the opposition that the president died of Covid-19 after he had been missing from public view without explanation since the end of February.
Magufuli was a coronavirus skeptic, playing down the virus’ threat and recommending prayers and steam baths as treatments for Covid-19.
The deceased leader also cast doubt over the vaccines developed abroad and questioned the speed of their development.
Following his death, former vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president. EFE-EPA