Authorities in Cameroon say they have opened investigations to determine the identities of 17 people who died Sunday in a fire that went off in a nightclub in the capital, Yaounde.
Among the dead were an army colonel, his wife, and four soldiers. They were in the nightclub to celebrate the birthday of the Colonel’s wife.
The fire in Livs Nightclub located at the exotic Bastos neighborhood in Yaoundé also left at least eight people with serious burns.
According to the Minister of Communication, Rene Sadi who went to the location Sunday Morning, the fire started in the ceiling after celebratory fireworks apparently caused a short-circuit. It set off explosions that consumed three buildings.
The explosions came at a time Cameroon is hosting the month-long Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
There are concerns that some of those killed could be of foreign nationality.
“We are still at the level of inquiries [investigations],” Sadi told the press.
“The incident is quite serious. There are people who are dead. Others are injured and investigations are going on. I think when all these things are finished; I will be giving the exact information concerning this very serious incident,” Said emphasized.
Public Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie says the country’s President, Paul Biya has instructed that the wounded be treated for free and that the dead be buried in their places of origin after their identities must have been established.
Mr. Biya has called for calm and reassured football lovers that Yaounde, like other towns hosting the AFCON, remains safe for players and fans.