Food Stampede Kills 15, Wounds at Least Five People in Essaouira

Morocco

Morocco food stampede 'kills 15 and wounds five'

Alyaoum24.com, a local news website, reported that people were rushing for food aid whose value was about $16 per person.

At least 17 people, a lot of them women, have been killed and 38 injured in a stampede during the distribution of food aid in the Essaouira, Morocco's west, on Sunday, Moroccan media reported, citing official sources.

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The incident occurred in the town of Sidi Boulaalam in Essaouira province.

The interior ministry said King Mohammed VI had issued orders to "provide the necessary help and support to the families of the victims and the injured".

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Local media said a food stall set up in the town by a benefactor was soon "submerged in the crowd" of 800 people, mostly women. The king has also made a decision to "take charge personally of the funeral expenses and the funeral expenses of the victims and the care of the wounded", according to the same source.

Ambulances arrived on the scene to transport injured people to a regional hospital for treatment and an investigation has been opened to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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Distributions of food aid are common in the North African nation, especially in remote areas.

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