View Full Version : Manila stadium stampede kills 88

02-04-2006, 12:57 PM

A stampede outside a sports stadium in the Philippines capital, Manila, has left at least 88 dead, many of them women, with more than 200 injured.
Tens of thousands of people had come to the stadium for the first anniversary recording of a popular TV gameshow.

Rumours of a bomb hidden in the crowd reportedly caused the crush.

The Wowowee show is popular for offering large cash prizes in a country where 40% of the population live on less than $2 a day.

The show, which airs six days a week, normally offers a 1m peso ($19,250) top prize, but Saturday's anniversary edition had doubled that money.

"This is a programme that intends to help Filipinos, especially the poor," said host Willie Revillame.

"We only wanted to make these people happy."

Gates barred

About 30,000 people were waiting to get into the Ultra stadium in the Manila suburb of Pasig - significantly more than the usual 5,000 who attend recordings.

The programme, produced by ABS-CBN television, had never used the stadium before.

As well as rumours of a bomb, other witnesses said the crush began when guards refused to open the gates to the stadium.

Vice-President Noli de Castro visited the scene of the disaster.

"We did not want this to happen. It's just that there were so many people wanting to watch Wowowee because of the big prizes awaiting them," he said.

Bodies covered in sheets were lined up beside a police cordon at the stadium.

Merquieades Salazar, 45, wept over the body of his wife. The couple, jobless, wanted to enter a raffle run by the programme.

"In the desire to win money, she is the one I lost," he said.

Presenter Willie Revillame said the show would go ahead to provide information for the injured and their relatives.

But police said the show, scheduled to begin at 1300 (0500GMT), should be stopped.

"The show must be cancelled so that people will go back to their homes," said Manila's police chief, Vidal Querol.


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02-04-2006, 03:43 PM
It's sad being an Asian! We love money more than life!

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