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HomeNewsDeath toll from Ethiopian Epiphany celebration accident in Gondar reaches 12

Death toll from Ethiopian Epiphany celebration accident in Gondar reaches 12

Ethiopian government sources have not yet issued official statement regarding the tragic incident during Timkat (Epiphany) celebration in Gonder).It does not seem to be linked to foul play or malicious activity based on information available so far.President Sahlework Zewde and other senior government officials were attending it

Ethiopian _ Gondar _ Stand Collapse
Photo credit : FBC

January 20, 2020

Latest report indicate that that the death toll from the accident has reached 12. Aster Misganaw, VOA Amharic service reporter, established the number after talking to eye witness accounts including persons like Askal Kassaw who was among the master of ceremonies in the festival. 

Figures about lives claimed were blurry in reports that came out early.

DW Amharic service cited hospital sources in Gonder to report that at least 10 people were killed and hundreds wounded in connection with the collapse of wooden stand prepared for Epiphany (Timkat) celebration –  a three days celebration in the traditions of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Gondar City head of Peace and Security, Tesfa Mekonen, has confirmed the death of three people, according to the AFP report.

Ethiopian state and affiliated media outlets did not report about the number of casualties from the incident at this writing although they have cited a security office in the city of Gonder to confirm that there were deaths. 

The identities of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident are undisclosed, too. 

DW Amharic service cited anonymous sources from the hospital in Gondar city to report that the number of people who sustained injuries during the accident is between 100 and 150.

Other sources that cite hospital sources said those injured suffered bone fractures and internal bleeding.

A report by AFP said “Hundreds had been sitting on a tiered wooden structure for hours when it collapsed. Witnesses fleeing the scene said an untold number were crushed, suggesting the casualty count could rise.”

According to remarks from security officials in the region, the wooden stand was meant to carry between 700 and 100 people and the collapse is believed to be due to overload on it.

It happened in the morning before the procession of the Arks back to their respective churches. 

Despite the accident, the celebration continued as the festival has attracted about two million people from all over Ethiopia and abroad too.

In December 2019, UNESCO added Timkat to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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  1. Safety and Quality are becoming strange concepts in Ethiopia since the tens of thousands METEC made farm tractors were put in the Ethiopian market mostly sold to Gondar farmers associations .

    Without Quality and safety the low score of the Ethiopian Human Developmental HDI score will continue to deteriorate regardless how much money is borrowed or how much energy is spent on pushing a wall i n the EPRDF prisons.

  2. በሐረር ከጥምቀት በዓል አከባበር ጋር በተያያዘ ትናንት እና ዛሬ አለመረጋጋት ተፈጥሮ ነበር
    January 20, 2020 – በሐረር ከጥምቀት በዓል አከባበር ጋር በተያያዘ ትናንት እና ዛሬ አለመረጋጋት ተፈጥሮ ነበር ። የጥምቀት በዓልን ምክንያት በማድረግ የእምነቱ ተከታዮች በዓሉን ለማክበርና አካባቢውን ለማስዋብ የተለመደ እንቅስቃሴያቸውን በሚያደርጉበት ወቅት በዓሉን የማይመለከትና ሕግ የማይፈቅደውን ባንዲራ ለመስቀል ሙከራ ያደረጉ በመኖራቸው አለመረጋጋት ተከስቶ ሰዎች ሰንደቅ አላማውን ለመስቀል በሚሞክሩበት ወቅት ሌሎች ደግሞ ‘ይህን አትሰቅሉም’ በሚል ግርግር ተፈጥሮ ድንጋይ
    በመወራወር ዛሬ ጠዋት ታቦት የሚሸኙ ሰዎች በሐረር ክልል የአማራ ተወላጆች እንዲፈናቀሉ ለማድረግ በተደራጀ ቡድን መንገድ ተዘግቶባቸዋል::

    ” A flag IS nothing but A CLOTH ” Melese Zenawi

  3. There is one thing that suprises me most: Ethiopians devalue the life and dignity of thier fellow ethiopians. In the western world, if you get into , enter, into an area which is believed to be perilous for you , you gonna be fined or prisoned. Then, bearing this in mind, people are always respectful to the law and to one another. Since there is law that justifies your or my action and consquently such laws saves the lives of people and maintain peaceful communication among citizens. I couldn’t see such act out there, ethiopia. Why do the state or cityhall of Gonder put notices on the places like that so that people take caution or heed . This might save people’s lives. I learnt the fact that over 12 people died , because the log was overloaded and couldn’t bear the weight of those multitudes standing on it .

    In US, where I live now,on the lift , bridges, even on the places where children play , there is always a written instruction and order reminding them to do and prohibit them not to engage in a certain activities.

    Thank you for paying hommage to people’s lives and protecting one another regadless of religion, tribe ; gender, age etc

  4. ጎነደር ዘንድሮ የተደረመሰው ማማ ከፍተኛ ቁጥር ያለው ሰው ማማው ላይ ስለወጣበት ነው

    if so, the city hall or any responsible person should stick notice to a these kind of places advising people , the laity, to, take heed before this gruesome scene occurs.

    please donot devalue people’s life regardless of thier socio-economic background. In US people endanger thier life to protect dignitaries and at other times even to save ordinary people. Let us save humanlives before such kind of incident takes place.


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