Rabat - Spanish authorities said that the stampede that took place on January 22 in the Spanish enclave of Melilla occurred on the Moroccan side of the border, according to Spanish news source El Faro de Melilla.
The stampede broke out at the Barrio Chino crossing point in Melilla, causing several injuries. Later, Moroccan and Spanish media reported that the stampede caused the death of a man who “was severely injured” during the incident. However, Morocco’s Maghreb Arab Press reported later that no deaths had occurred in connection with the stampede.
When Spanish senator Bildu Kon Inarritu inquired about the circumstances of the stampede, the government cabinet announced that the stampede had broken out on the Moroccan side of the border.
The Spanish government, according to the news source, added that ten people were stuck in the narrow passage whose capacity should not exceed one person.
The source added that two people “fell to the ground” and were trampled by other “human mules.”
“Due to the gravity of the situation,” the Spanish authorities “have asked the Moroccan authorities to release the rush of people from their side in order to bring out the wounded because that was impossible on the opposite side,” added the source which quoted the Spanish cabinet.
The source added that Spanish authorities transferred one of the victims of the incident to the Comarca Hospital in Melilla, and that the Spanish police were later informed of the death of the injured Moroccan citizen.
Kon Inarritu also expressed his concerns over the general situation in Melilla, asking the government to identify measures that have been taken to avoid such tragic incidents in both Melilla and Ceuta.
In its report, the Spanish cabinet said that the stampede occurred on the Moroccan side of the border, “where the maintenance of order is Morocco’s responsibility.” The source added that, “It is not up to the government of Spain to judge the work of the Moroccan authorities on the control and regulation of people’s transit.”
Following the January incident, Spanish media reported that three were injured on the Spanish side, one of whom is in a “very serious condition.”