Candles of Memory Lit In Nyamiha
On May 30 in Minsk a meeting in memory of the 7th anniversary of the tragedy in Nyamiha (Nemiga) metro station was held. Several dozens of young people laid flowers to the monument of the stampede victims and lit about a hundred of candles near the monument and at the stairs of the underpass.
The rally was organized via Internet, people not knowing each other took part in it. Its non-political nature was emphasized in the announcement.
The tragedy took place on May 30, 1999. On that evening more than two thousand mostly young people aged under 18 returned from a beer festival and a concert held in front of the Palace of Sports. A sudden shower caused panic among the crowd. The folks streamed into the near-by subway underpass of Nyamiha (Nemiga) metro station, which resulted in a bloody stampede leaving 54 people, mostly young girls, dead and some 250 injured. According to witnesses, everything ended in 10 minutes. Most of the deaths were caused by asphyxia. About a hundred of people were hospitalized with different traumas.
A criminal action was brought up, however the responsible ones havent been named. According to the authorities, the tragedy had been caused by a twist of fate. Families of the victims many times sued city authorities, police, Olivaria brewery, a radio station Mir and Class-Club Jazz-Craft producers center who were responsible for organizing the festival and for maintaining order there. However courts dismissed charges.