They all gathered to celebrate the country's Independence Day.

The atmosphere was in a frenzy state as people trooped into the national stadium in colourful outfits.

Kids and adults were seen holding the national flag proudly.

Suddenly tragedy struck as the day that started with so much colour and glamour turned into sorrow after seven children and one adult were killed in a stampede at Malawi’s national stadium on Thursday.

The stampede occurred when gates were opened at the 40,000-seat Bingu stadium in the capital, Lilongwe, for a presidential address and football match to mark the annual holiday.

“Eight people — seven children aged around eight years old, and one adult — died,” national police spokesman James Kadadzera told AFP.

He said 62 people had been injured and were receiving treatment at Lilongwe’s main hospital.

“My government will do all it can to assist the bereaved families,” President Peter Mutharika said at an independence day prayer meeting.

“We are mourning with you.”