At least 78 people have been killed in a crush at a school in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, just days ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival, according to Houthi officials and media.
The crush happened late on Wednesday as hundreds of people crowded into a school in the Bab al-Yemen district of Sanaa in the hope of getting a charitable donation of about $10 that was being handed out by merchants to mark the final days of Ramadan.
A video posted by Houthi television on Telegram messaging app showed a crowd of people jammed together, some screaming and shouting and reaching out to be pulled to safety. Security staff fought to push people back and control the crowd.
Separate footage released by the Houthis, who control the capital, showed bloodstains, shoes and victims’ clothing scattered on the ground with investigators were seen examining the area.
Witnesses Abdel-Rahman Ahmed and Yahia Mohsen told the Associated Press news agency that armed Houthis had fired into the air in an attempt at crowd control, apparently hitting an electrical wire, which exploded and caused panic among those waiting.
Al Jazeera however, could not independently ascertain the reasons behind the deadly crowd crush.