17 dead in the fire of a nightclub in the Cameroonian capital

A fire broke out at a popular nightclub in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé, causing explosions and killing at least 17 people, government officials said.

The tragedy comes as the central African country welcomes thousands of players, supporters and referees from across the continent for the month-long Africa Cup of Nations football tournament.

A government statement said the fire broke out at the Livs nightclub in the capital’s Bastos district, triggering a series of explosions.

(Themba Hadebe/AP)

Workers said it was a short circuit that customers initially thought was fireworks. The explosions started once the fire spread to a place where cooking gas was stored, causing panic, workers said.

The government said that in addition to the deaths, some people were injured and taken to hospital.

“We are still at the level of investigations to know the names and nationalities of the dead and injured,” said government spokesman René Emmanuel Sadi.

In a statement, Cameroonian President Paul Biya called for calm and assured players and supporters of their safety.

The championship, with teams from 24 countries, was originally scheduled for 2021 but was later postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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