Stampede Breaks Out at Rap Concert, Killing Five and Injuring 21 People

At least five people have been killed during a stampede at an overcrowded concert in Algeria. Many more people were injured during the crush at the concert headlined by rapper Soolking at a stadium in the Algerian capital Algiers on 22 August.

According to Algerian news site TSA, three men and two women were killed at the concert, with 21 wounded taken to Mustapha University Hospital.

Concert-goers complained about the lack of security at the venue, adding it was clear that too many tickets had been sold. Pictures showed severe overcrowding outside the venue as thousands of people attempted to get inside.

Videos from the scene also showed emergency services transporting people from the venue on stretchers.

One woman, who wished to only be identified as Chafia, was outside the venue at the time. "It was so packed like there was hardly any space to move," she told Newsweek. "Obviously it wasn't the artist's fault but he [performed] at a stadium where tourists like to go visit and a lot of guys with bad intentions.

"There were people fainting, there was a girl who lost her younger sister because of how packed it was. There were a lack of ambulances, when people would faint it would be the members of the public who would assist them. We were like ants, there was no way we could move."

Linda Chebbah, a journalist who was at the gig, told the BBC: "Unfortunately at the entrance, I realized there was an issue with security. There were two groups there: the police and the security hired especially for the event. There were so many concert goers, way too many for the stadium.

"There was access to the pitch and to the benches. Nothing much happened on the benches, but on the pitch people were jostling for space. We had to move several times to avoid the crowds.

"As I'm a journalist, I was able to go backstage for safety, but I couldn't see the concert there, so I didn't see the people who died. There were so many people at the concert that I am not surprised that an accident happened."

According to TSA, Soolking continued the concert despite the unrest in the crowd and the performance was broadcast live on Canal Algérie. The rapper, real name Abderraouf Derradji, has not commented on the deaths at his concert.

Soolking is hugely popular in his native Algeria. He is seen as a prominent figure in the "Hirak" Algerian protests against the oppressive regime of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Bouteflika stepped down in April after nearly 20 years as president of the African nation following months of mass protests. He was the longest-serving head of state in Algeria's history.

Concert-goers clash with police at an overcrowded venue ahead of a gig by rapper Soolking. Twitter/Chafia