Two men in Mexico faced terrorism charges after their motorcycles backfired, causing a large crowd of people to stampede, believing the sound was gunfire.
Juan Ramon Munguia and Enrique Trevino Rivera faced charges in the incident which took place during an Easter celebration. Police say accounts from witnesses disagreed on whether the loud exploding noises were intentionally caused. A guilty conviction could lead to sentences of 5 to 20 years in prison.
Video footage of the incident (below) shows hundreds of people attending the festivities in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, fleeing in panic or ducking for cover. Several people were injured in the incident as vendor stalls blocked off many routes, funneling the crowd into a tight space.
The charges may seem like an over-reaction at first glance, but with the country’s high crime rates, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to those in the crowd if the noises were from actual gunshots. There have been several incidents in recent years of gunfire during large public events such as soccer games and concert, and in 2008, eight people were killed in a grenade attack during an independence day celebration in Morelia, Mexico.
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