Nine suffocate in Ugandan firework crush - police

STORY: Several people have suffocated to death in a crush at a New Year's firework display in Uganda.

Just after clocks struck midnight, crowds got stuck in a narrow corridor in a shopping mall near the country's capital, Kampala, police said.

Patrick Onyango is the spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Police.

"After the fireworks display, they were told to go back. That is why the stampede started. Because they were rushing, everybody was rushing inside back for the concert to continue... Five people, mostly children, juveniles, were stepped on. Suffocations entered in and instantly five children died."

Several others were also confirmed dead.

Ramadhan Apongo was caught up in the crush.

"I lost a friend of mine (INDISTINCT) because I had gone with her, yeah, I found her there. She was enjoying, she was having fun, but due to loss of breath, she lost her breath and eventually she died."

Onyango said an investigation into the disaster has been opened.