At least 85 dead in stampede at event to distribute aid

A devastating tragedy occurred in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, when a crowd of approximately 85 people were trampled to death due to a stampede during a gathering to mark the end of Ramadan.

Those attending the event were impoverished and had gathered to receive aid when gunshots were heard, causing a panic to ensue.

Graphic videos of the aftermath of the disaster began circulating on social media. Houthi official reported to AFP that over 300 people were also injured in the stampede, with women and children among the dead.

A statement from the interior ministry of the country described the event as a “random distribution of money by some merchants without coordination with the Ministry of Interior and without organization,” and that the dead and injured have been taken to hospitals with two of the merchants responsible for the incident being arrested.

It is speculated that Houthis had fired their weapons into the air in an attempt to control the crowds, but the rounds had struck an electrical wire, causing an explosion and sparking a greater panic.

Houthi rebels were said to have rushed to close off the school to journalists. Sanaa has been under the control of Houthi rebels since 2014 and the resulting conflict has caused more than 100,000 deaths and is considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises according to the United Nations.