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Stampede at Guatemala concert injures 20, leaves nine dead

Guatemala Stampede
Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 15, 2022

At least nine were killed and more than 20 injured when a stampede broke out at an independence day concert in western Guatemala.

Victims were reportedly crushed as thousands of attendees tried to leave the open-air grounds where the "Xelafer" festival was being held in the city of Quetzaltenango, according to the Guatemalan Red Cross.

The rescue group said on Twitter, "The Guatemalan Red Cross and volunteer firefighters stabilized more than 20 injured people, and nine people died at the scene." A spokesperson for the Guatemalan Red Cross said the dead had suffered "multiple traumas," AFP reported.

Guatemala's Public Ministry said prosecutors have started to gather information and are investigating. The country's national forensic sciences institute activated four morgues to perform autopsies.

The festival was part of the country's celebration of its independence from Spain. There had not been celebrations marking the annual event for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Guatemala gained independence from Spain in 1821.