Over 22,000 evacuated as fire hits Spain music festival

Smoke is seen rising from flames engulfing the stage after a fire broke out at Tomorrowland Unite Spain festival in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday, in this still image from a video obtained from social media. (Reuters)
Updated 30 July 2017
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Over 22,000 evacuated as fire hits Spain music festival

MADRID: More than 22,000 people were evacuated Saturday when the stage at an electronic music festival near Barcelona erupted in flames, sending revellers running.
Firefighters rushed to the Tomorrowland festival in Santa Coloma de Gramenet in northeastern Spain, and eventually managed to extinguish the blaze which caused no injuries, they said in a statement.
A total of 22,143 people had to be evacuated from the festival, they added.
Footage of the incident shows one side of the stage consumed by giant flames, a shower of sparks raining down as people ran away and black smoke billowing up.
It is not clear what caused the blaze, but organizers said on their Facebook page it was due to a technical malfunction.
“Thanks to the professional intervention of the authorities all 22.000 visitors were evacuated safely and without reports of injuries,” they said.


16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

Updated 1 min 2 sec ago
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16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

  • The accident occurred in the afternoon outside Mahamasina Municipal Stadium, where several thousand people had gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark the national holiday

ANTANANARIVO: At least 16 people were crushed to death and dozens injured in Madagascar on Wednesday at a stadium hosting national independence day celebrations in the capital Antananarivo.
The bodies of sixteen victims, including three children, were stored at the mortuary of HJRA hospital in the city, AFP journalists said.
Hospital director Oliva Alison Rakoto had earlier reported 15 dead and 80 wounded.
According to witnesses at the hospital, the accident occurred in the afternoon outside Mahamasina Municipal Stadium, where several thousand people had gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark the national holiday.
At the end of a military parade, security forces opened the gates to allow spectators to leave the enclosure, causing the crowd to mass outside the stadium, witnesses said.
The police then immediately closed the gates and blocked the crowd, witnesses said, causing a deadly pile up.
"When the organizers opened the gate, we were in the front row, in the queue," said Jean Claude Etienne Rakotoarimanana, 29, who suffered bruises from the crush.
"Suddenly people ran to get in front of us. They shoved us, some even punched us and pulled us," he added, saying he then fainted.
In September 2018, a deadly crush killed one person and injured 30 people in similar circumstances at the entrance of the same stadium during a football match between Madagascar and Senegal.