Several dead in stampede at DR Congo music festival

Several dead in stampede at DR Congo music festival
Congolese singer King Kester Emeneya.

KINSHASA - Several people died in a stampede in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Fridayduring a tribute festival for the late African singer King Kester Emeneya, the local government said.

Crowds were massed in Emeneya's hometown of Kikwit to celebrate the memory of the popular and innovative Congolese singer who died in Paris in February.

Several people were killed and property damaged in the crush, the provincial government of Bandundu said in a statement, blaming the "enthusiasm of the audience".

It did not give a precise death toll but said a security committee had been convened to investigate the incident.

The authorities have cancelled the festival that was held in honour of Emeneya, who introduced electronic instruments such as the synthesiser to Congolese music.

Thousands of people attended his funeral outside Kinshasa last month after his death from heart problems in France at the age of 57.

He had enjoyed a three-decade career in music, with hundreds of songs to his name and had performed concerts in a number of countries across the world.

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