At Least 17 Killed, Eight Injured in Nightclub Fire in Cameroon

At least 17 people died and eight others were injured in a nightclub fire in Cameroonian capital Yaounde on Jan. 23.

According to the Ministry of Communication, Liv’s Nightclub Yaouba caught fire at about 2:30 a.m. local time after fireworks were ignited on the roof of the building.

The flames spread to areas where cooking gas was stored, causing two strong explosions.

Employees at the popular nightclub had initially said that a short circuit caused the fire.

The director of the Yaounde Central Hospital said in a press conference that several people were in critical condition.

President Paul Biya ordered an in-depth investigation into the incident, including determining the names and nationalities of the victims.

Public Health Minister Manaouda Malachie said that Biya also asked the Public Health Ministry to treat the injured for free and to arrange the burials for the dead after the investigation, VOA News reported.

Gustav Lemaleu, who was among the civilians helping to search for the injured, said that civilians and the Fire Brigade saved the lives of at least 40 people, according to VOA News.

The incident came as the central African country hosts the month-long football tournament, Africa Cup of Nations, which draws thousands of players and fans from across the continent.

In a statement, Biya called for calm and assured the safety of players and fans.

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