A stampede at a crowded tribute festival for a popular music star has killed at least 14 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A power failure at a stadium in the town of Kikwit, organised to commemorate the life of popular local singer King Kester Emeneya, plunged the venue into darkness causing a crush, officials and witnesses said.
“The provisional toll, which we deeply regret, stands at 14 dead, including two policemen, and eight wounded,” Camille Sesep, a spokesman for the provincial government of Bandundu told the AFP news agency.
The provincial government blamed the “enthusiasm of the audience” for the deaths.
Crowds had amassed in Emenya’s hometown of Kikwit, 500km from the capital Kinshasha, to celebrate the memory of the popular singer who died earlier this year in Paris.
Thousands of people attended Emeneya’s funeral in Kinshasa last month after he died from heart problems in his adopted home of France at the age of 57.
King Kester Emeneya, whose given name was Emeneya Mubiala Kwamumbu, enjoyed a long career in music, with hundreds of songs to his name.
Following the stampede, authorities cancelled the festival which was scheduled to last through Sunday. [AFP]