At least 85 killed in Ramadan crush in Sanaa, Yemen
21 April 2023
At least 85 people have been killed in a crush at a school in the rebel-held Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Wednesday night (19 April). This figure is reported by The Guardian as of Thursday afternoon, although some sources give a higher death toll. The crush took place at the Maeen school in central Sanaa as hundreds of people gathered in a narrow street to get charity handouts worth $9 from a merchant to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, known as Eid al-Fitr. On top of the at least 85 confirmed dead, The Guardian reports that some 322 were injured, 50 of whom critically so. The rebel Houthi movement has controlled Sanaa since the start of the war in Yemen in 2014. The head of their Supreme Revolutionary Council, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said the merchant received people via a back gate that was reached by a narrow street and steps, resulting in overcrowding and a crush when the gate was opened. The Associated Press meanwhile have quoted two witnesses who said that the crush began after Houthi forces fired into the air at an attempt at crowd control, allegedly hitting an electrical wire, causing an explosion and leading to panic.