What started as an opportunity for people in Morocco to get much-needed food aid turned deadly on Nov. 19 when 15 people died and several more were injured in a stampede.
According to a Nov. 19 article in The Washington Post, residents of the North African nation of Morocco had gathered in a marketplace in Sidi Boulaalam to accept handouts from a local aid group handing out flour. The nation has been in the midst of a severe drought.
Media reports did not identify what spiked the stampede, but The Washington Post quoted a source who said that “People shoved, they broke down barriers. The local authorities on the spot were overwhelmed. Even when there were people on the ground, people kept fighting for food.”
Most of the victims were women and the elderly, reports said.
Going back to last year, Morocco has suffered through low levels of wheat and barley production, brought about by inadequate rainfall during the planting season and shortage of rain during the critical months of February and March.