At least 16 people were killed and eight others wounded after fireworks were used in the Yaounde club, causing a fire, the government said.
At least 16 people have been killed in a fire at a popular nightclub in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital, the government said.
The fire was caused by fireworks used in the club, it said.
The fire engulfed the main room of Liv’s Night Club in the capital’s luxury Bastos district, home to embassies and diplomatic residences. Authorities said the fire had spread to a place where cooking gas was stored.
“We are still at the level of investigations to find out the names and nationalities of the dead and wounded,” government spokeswoman Rene Emmanuel Sadi said on Sunday.
“The tragedy, caused by explosions of the fireworks often used in these places, first consumed the building’s ceiling, which led to two very loud explosions, which caused panic and a rush,” the ministry said. said of communication.
“There were loud explosions of six gas bottles that caused panic in the neighborhood.” the government statement said, adding that eight others were injured and taken to Yaounde’s central hospital.
A security guard who was present at the time of the fire said “it happened very quickly”.
“It was a little after 2am and most customers arrive around 3am … there are a lot of casualties,” the security guard said.
The incident comes while the country is hosting thousands of soccer players, fans and match officials from across the continent for the month-long Africa Cup of Nations.
In a statement, Cameroon President Paul Biya called for calm and reassured AFCON players and fans of their safety.
The championship, with teams from 24 countries, was originally scheduled for 2021, but was then postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to a presidential order, city police launched an investigation.
“I lost my brother”
About 100 people gathered outside the morgue of the military hospital in Yaounde’s Ekounou neighborhood on Sunday, hoping to find out news from family members.
“I have no information. “I woke up this morning and they told me my 38-year-old son was dead,” said one woman, who named her Fidele.
“I waited for my brother and his friends last night, but they did not show up. And around 7am, I got a lot of calls asking if my brother was dead or alive. So I came to the morgue and I identified his body, “said Fidele’s daughter, Claude.
“I lost my brother,” said Stephane Hamza, 38.
“He was a good, kind boy who has been working in this club for about two months. “When I heard about the explosion, I came to the morgue where I was told he was dead.”
In Douala, the economic capital of the south of the country, at least five discos have been partially or completely burnt down in accidental fires over the past six years.