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Child killed in Honduras giveaway riot
( 2003-12-22 10:23) (Agencies)

Crowds at a Christmas toy giveaway surged out of control, and a 7-year-old girl was killed and about 80 other people were injured, police said Sunday.

The crowd at National Stadium was larger than expected and thousands of children came to Saturday's event without parents, authorities said.

"The crowd tried to push forward in long lines to get the gifts quickly," police spokesman Leonel Sauceda said. "There was pushing between women, men and children ... and chaos broke out."

The 7-year-old girl, identified as Vilma Angelica, died from asphyxiation and other injuries, police said.

More than 60 children suffered injuries that included fractures, bruises and seizures, firefighter Felix Castillo said. About 80 people were injured, police said.

A television station, Compania Televisora, has run the charity giveaway for eight years, and many businesses contribute toys to the event.

"It's a sad and regrettable situation," said event organizer Edgardo Melgar. "There were a lot of circumstances that contributed to how people entered the stadium in a disorganized way."

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