At least 14 crushed to death at Congo music festival after blackout hits

KINSHASA (Reuters) - At least 14 people died when a power cut caused a crush at a crowded music festival in Democratic Republic of Congo early on Friday, a local government spokesman said.

The crush occurred in Kikwit, around 500km from the capital Kinshasa, on the first night of a festival organised to commemorate famous Congolese rumba musician King Kester Emeneya, who died 40 days ago.

"Around 2am there was a blackout in the stadium. At that time the concert was completely full," said Mr Claude Malela, a spokesman for the local government and organiser of the festival. "When people tried to leave there was a crush. We have counted 14 dead and 13 injured."

An official at the Interior Ministry who asked not to be named said there were fears the death toll could eventually be as high as around 40.

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