Fifty two people are now known to have died and more than 150 injured as revellers from a rock concert and beer festival sought
shelter from a sudden hail and thunder storm.
The tunnel in which 52 people died
The Russian group Mango Mango was playing in the Sports Palace in the centre of Minsk as up to 2000 people tried to cram into the access tunnel to Nyamiha underground station. A spokesman said that people kept forcing their way into the tunnel, unaware of what was happening inside.
Polished marble stairs, made wet by the rain are thought to have been a factor in causing people to slip as they descended into the tunnel. The majority of the casualties were aged between 14 and 18 years. Amongst the dead were 42 teenage girls and two policemen who had been trying to control the crowd. Many of the deaths were caused by suffocation.
The tragedy occurred on Saturday afternoon (May 29) but details were only released more than 24 hours later. First reports about the number of dead were confused. Initially the Health Ministry stated that only 17 people had been killed. However unofficial sources, including eyewitnesses estimated that the death toll was 40 or 50. The number of dead has now been put at 52. President Lukashenko declared two days of mourning from Monday May 31.
The event which was held in a sports stadium was staged by the Mir radio station to celebrate its second anniversary. As many as 10,000 people attended.
54 die in Minsk underground station
40 killed in Minsk underground station
Comment on this item...