NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A stampede in Kenya during celebrations to mark an annual public holiday killed at least six people on Friday and injured 100 others, authorities said.
The stampede happened when thousands of people struggled to get inside Kericho stadium in western Kenya at dawn, police said. The stadium was the venue for this year’s Mashujaa Day, which means Heroes’ Day in Swahili.
Health officials said they fear the death toll could rise.
A local media cameraman at the scene told The Associated Press that “it was like a scene from hell.”
“People were trying to run away but because it had rained, they kept being stuck in the mud and bodies kept piling on bodies,” said Festus Kirui. “Their shoes were stuck in the mud. And you can see that these people struggled a lot to try to get out.”
President William Ruto, who addressed thousands of people at the stadium about four hours later, didn’t mention the stampede. He instead dedicated his speech to his plans for a universal health care system.
It wasn’t clear if Ruto was aware of the stampede when he delivered his remarks.