Officials probe site of deadly Yemen stampede that killed at least 87 people

Officials and forensic investigators visited the site of a deadly stampede where at least 78 people were killed when hundreds gathered in a school to receive aid in the Yemeni capital Sanaa late on Wednesday (April 19), Houthi television reported.

Several people were injured including 13 who were in critical condition, Al Masirah TV news outlet run by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement reported, citing the director of health in Sanaa.

The stampede took place during the distribution of charitable donations by merchants in the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Houthi-controlled Ministry of Interior’s spokesperson said in a statement. Hundreds of people had crowded into a school to receive the donations, which amounted to 5,000 Yemeni riyals, or about $9 per person, two witnesses involved in the rescue effort said as quoted by Reuters.

According to Reuters report, footage carried by Al Masirah TV showed victims’ bodies lying on the grounds of the site of the stampede late Wednesday evening.

In a separate statement, the interior ministry also said that the two merchants responsible for organizing the donation event had been detained and an investigation was underway.

Yemen has been embroiled in an eight-year civil war that killed tens of thousands of people, wrecked the economy and pushed millions into hunger.