IANS

A fire in a nightclub in Cameroon's capital city of Yaounde has killed at least 16 people, the country's Communication Minister, Rene Emmanuel Sadi has said.

Sadi added that the tragedy occurred on Sunday at about 2:30 a.m. local time at Liv's Night Club Yaouba, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The incident which was caused by explosions resulting from fireworks usually used in this place, first consumed the ceiling of the building resulting in two explosions of high amplitude and caused panic and jostling among the people present inside the nightclub," he said in a statement, adding that eight people were "seriously injured" and were rushed to the hospital.

Several witnesses told Xinhua more than 100 people, mostly young adults, stampeded for the only available exit as the club was filled with smoke.

Arnold Samba, who was released from the hospital after minor injuries, described the club bursting into flames.

"In 10 seconds, the whole ceiling was all on fire. In the next five minutes, we rushed to a single door. People were pushing people aside and moving on some who were already dead to get out of the club and stay alive," Samba told Xinhua.

Several senior government officials visited the site of the tragedy early Sunday and announced the readiness of the government to support the victims.

Nightclub fire disasters are regular in Cameroon, but Sunday's incident is the deadliest in the Central African nation, according to the police.

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