Three killed, over 100 hurt during Ethiopian ceremony

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (AP) — At least three people were killed and more than 100 others injured when a wooden stand erected for the colourful Epiphany celebration collapsed in Ethiopia on Monday, an official and hospital source said.

The Security Chief for the city of Gondar Tesfa Mekonnen did not specify the number of deaths in comments to regional broadcaster Amhara Mass Media Agency.

Tesfa said two foreigners were among the injured.

The stand was meant for up to 1,000 people but it became overloaded and collapsed according to Tesfa.

A hospital source in Ethiopia’s city of Gondar confirmed that at least three people died.

The collapse occurred inside the Emperor Fasilides Bath in the northern city where several thousand Ethiopians and tourists attended the celebration.

The Ethiopian News Agency reported that more than 15,000 foreigners attended the celebration in Gondar.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) late last year added Ethiopia’s Epiphany festivities known as Timkat to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which attracted more attendees.

Christians from the Ethiopian Orthodox church celebrate the first day of the festival of Timkat, or Epiphany, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PHOTO: AP