At least 10 people have been reported killed in this year’s Timket celebrations in Ethiopia when a wooden stand for spectators collapsed.
The celebrations in the northern city of Gondar brought together thousands of worshippers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. For the purpose of viewing the multiple activities, some attendants build wooden scaffolds to see what is going on.
The BBC quoted a senior doctor at the University of Gondar Hospital who said: “I can tell you up to now we have 10 dead. The number of injured is 100 or even 150”.
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Timket is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, as told in the Bible. Timket is regarded as the celebration of epiphany.
The two-day celebrations bring together the young and old and people from different economic backgrounds.
The first day of Timket is called Ketera. On this day, worshippers take a walk with a replica of the Biblical ark of the covenant wrapped in a manner to emphasize its religious importance.
The walk culminates in convergence at the celebration grounds.
On the second day, the clergy of the Orthodox Church perform dances and songs from dawn. They also bless the water source and sprinkle it on worshippers.