Stampede survivors blame barricades

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Survivors of a stampede in Ivory Coast that killed 61 people, most of them children and teenagers, after a New Year’s Eve fireworks display said Wednesday that makeshift barricades stopped them from moving along a main boulevard, causing the crush of people.

Ivory Coast police said unknown people put tree trunks across the Boulevard de la Republique where the trampling took place.

“For security, because there were so many important people at the event, we closed certain main streets,” said a police officer who was overheard briefing Ivory Coast President Alassane Outtara on the incident.

The police officer said the tree trunks were put out unofficially by people who are not known.

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