Connect with us


Yemen: Many die in Ramadan crush at Sanaa school



Yemen: Many die in Ramadan crush at Sanaa school

At least 78 people have been killed in a crush at a school in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, Sanaa, during a charity event for Ramadan, officials say.

The incident began after hundreds crowded into a narrow street in the Bab al-Yemen area late on Wednesday to get handouts of $9 (£7) from a merchant.

The video showed people screaming for help and others trying to free them.

Later footage showed dozens of bodies on the ground and shoes and clothing strewn over steps.

Officials from the rebel Houthi movement accused organisers of failing to coordinate with local authorities and said they had been detained.

Yemen: Many die in Ramadan crush at Sanaa school

Yemen was devastated by a civil war that escalated in 2015 when the Iran-aligned Houthis seized control of large parts of the country’s west from the internationally-recognised government. A Saudi-led coalition intervened to restore its rule.

Yemen: Many die in Ramadan crush at Sanaa school

The fighting has reportedly left more than 150,000 people dead and triggered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with two-thirds of the population – 21.7 million – needing some aid.

Poor people went to the Maeen School in central Sanaa on Wednesday night after being told that a local merchant would be handing out zakat (alms) to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Council, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, posted a photo on Twitter showing hundreds of people queuing outside the school before the crush.

Mr Houthi said the merchant received people via a back gate reached by a narrow street and steps. He added that this resulted in overcrowding and a crush when the gate was opened.

He also blamed the Saudi-led coalition for causing an “economic catastrophe” with its military campaign against the rebels and blockade of the country.

The Associated Press quoted two witnesses who said Houthi forces fired into the air in an attempt at crowd control, apparently hitting an electrical wire which resulted in an explosion. This caused panic that led to the crush, they added.


However, witnesses told the BBC that the Houthis fired shots into the air after the crash began to clear a path for the casualties.

One of the witnesses said the crowd was forced to gather in the narrow street because the school’s main gate was closed. He added that the crush happened as people in the queue were pushed up the steps into others who had received their handouts and were trying to leave.

A health ministry official said women and children were among the 78 killed in the crash.

Another 77 people were injured, according to the ministry. Thirteen were in critical condition in the hospital on Thursday, while the rest were discharged after treatment, it added.

“It was a huge crowd. They fell on me, and I got hurt,” a boy injured in the crash told rebel-run Al-Masirah TV at one hospital.

The president of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the incident, according to Al-Masirah.

The head of the Houthis’ General Zakat Authority said it would pay $2,000 (£1,600) to each family who lost a relative, while the injured would get around $400 (£322).

Click Button Below to Join Our Telegram Groups
WhatsApp Telegram

For Advert Inquiries & News/Article Publishing

Call:+2348033888791, +2347069999005