At least nine dead in Guatemala Independence Day music festival

At least nine people have died, including two 12-year-old children, in a stampede at a major rock concert in the western Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango, authorities and emergency services said Thursday.

According to Maria del Carmen Sajquim, spokesman for Guatemala’s Western Regional Hospital, six people were injured at the open-air festival in the early hours of Thursday.

The injured have been taken to hospital and are believed to have suffered fractures, local firefighters said on Twitter.

A member of the prosecutor’s office covers corpses after the stampede at a Guatemala Independence Day concert in Quetzaltenango.
AFP via Getty Images

Witnesses at the scene said the location had only two exits and chaos ensued as everyone rushed the exits.

Local media described the festival where more than 10 bands played as an annual event to mark the Independence Day in the Central American country.

The stampede is just one of several fatalities at public events that Latin America has witnessed in recent years.

A relative of one of the victims speaks to a forensic doctor after nine people were killed and 20 others injured at a music festival in Quetzaltenango.
AFP via Getty Images

Four people were killed and about 70 were injured in June when part of a grandstand collapsed at an arena in the city of El Espinal, Colombia.

In one of the region’s most tragic events, 194 people died in a fire at a Buenos Aires nightclub in 2004 after a concertgoer fired a flare into the crowded hall shortly after Callejeros’ rock band took the stage.

Firefighters and police stand next to the bodies of people who died in a stampede at an outdoor concert for Independence Day celebrations in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala,
Firefighters and police stand next to the bodies of people who died in a stampede at an outdoor Independence Day concert in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

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