Police join the dots in Freedom City puzzle
What you need to know:
- The police are already following a few leads after establishing that the event announcer triggered the chaos when he told revellers to go out of the venue to watch the display of fireworks.
After the death of nine people in a stampede at Freedom City on Entebbe Road, detectives are puzzling out what went wrong.
The police are already following a few leads after establishing that the event announcer triggered the chaos when he told revellers to go out of the venue to watch the display of fireworks.
“There was only one exit point at the time the announcer told the revellers to move out and watch the display of fireworks,” a senior police officer said, adding, “The venue has many exit points, but they are often open wide when the events have ended.”
The officer said some revellers chose to use the access route to exit yet some new revellers were rushing into the venue. This caused mayhem.
According to the police guidelines for the event management, one route can’t be used as an access and exit at the same time.
Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire said the announcer, who is a person of interest in their investigation, has since gone into hiding.
“We are looking for him. We are also looking for the organiser—Abbey Musinguzi alias Abitex—to tell us how they planned for the movement of people,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Owoyesigyire said yesterday.
At least nine people, including six juveniles, died in the stampede.
According to the police standards for night events, children aged 18 and below aren’t supposed to attend any entertainment event after 5pm.
Investigations are also focused on how the organisers allowed children to access the venue beyond the stipulated time.
The police officers suspect that there was lack of coordination between the organisers of the event, event security as well as stewards at the access and exit routes.