Several children die in stampede in Uganda at New Year's Eve celebration

fireworks in Uganda before a stampede occurred on New Years.
A scene from the New Years fireworks in Uganda's capital.Badru Katumba/Getty Images
  • A stampede occurred at a New Years concert and fireworks display in Uganda.

  • At least nine people, including several children, died.

  • Witnesses say the event occurred when people rushed down stairs to get off a platform.

A celebration of new beginnings turned into tragedy in the capital of Uganda on New Year's Eve.

Nine people died during a stampede at a concert and fireworks celebration Saturday in Kampala, the country's largest city, the BBC reported. Officials said many of the victims were between 10 and 20 years old.

Sylvia Nakalema, a witness who got caught in the stampede, told The Guardian, that the fireworks show turned deadly when viewers descended stairs from a platform where they had been watching.

"I felt losing breath but I stayed put since I had no exit until the situation calmed down, but some people were already lying down gasping for breath"  she told the Guardian. "Children were crying and there was chaos. I survived because I was pushed in a corner by the crowd."

Police are investigating the incident.

Stampedes and crowd crushes occur when too many people squeeze into one space, Insider previously reported. When this happens, the crowd starts to move as one, and many collide with each other or another object, without control over their bodies. Usually, when these events become fatal, the cause of death is suffocation.

There have been at least 10 deadly crowd crushes or stampedes in the past 12 months, killing hundreds. One in Seoul, South Korea, during a Halloween celebration in the city left 150 dead.

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