Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has vowed to understand why 17 people were killed at a stampede in a football game in Uige on Friday .
Many died in the northwestern city and former coffee hub ahead of a league game between Santa Rita de Cassia and Recreativo do Libolo in the Angolan top flight when fans stormed the games of the 8,000-capacity stadium after initially being denied entry.
The President issued a statement late on Friday where he confirmed that he’d ordered an investigation into the tragedy.
"I express my solidarity with the families of the deceased and have instructed the Provincial Government of Uige to provide all necessary assistance to the injured,” began the statement, as per Reuters, “and have given guidance to the competent authorities to open an inquiry that will establish the cause of this serious incident.”
As yet, local football authorities and the Uige police force are yet to comment on the incident, despite exhortations from the Ministry of Sports.
According to a medial official, many died by suffocation after being trapped, with children included among the deceased.
"Some people had to walk on top of other people. There were 76 casualties, of whom 17 died," hospital director general Ernesto Luis told Reuters.
Manchester City, Celtic and FC Porto are just some of the clubs to express solidarity with the victims of the crush.
Sadly, stadium crushes are an all too familiar tragedy in African football; in 2001, 127 were killed during a stampede at the Accra Sport Stadium during a match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko, while 19 were killed at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan ahead of the Cote d’Ivoire’s 2010 World Cup qualifier against Malawi.