Nigeria: Dozens Killed in Stampede At Church Event

Over 30 people lost their lives in Nigeria, when a crowd waiting for food broke through the gate of the venue where a charity event was to be held, officials have said.

A stampede in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt killed at least 31 people and injured several others, officials said on Saturday.

The crowd was waiting for the start of a charity event where food and presents were to be distributed.

Initials reports indicated that the tragedy took place at a local church. However, local news outlet Punch reported that the church leaders actually organized the event at the Port Harcourt Polo Club because it had more room. Some citizens apparently started waiting in line as early as Friday for the event that was due to start at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday.

“People were there earlier and some got impatient and started rushing, which led to stampeding,” said police spokesperson Grace Iringe-Koko.

Eventually, the crowd broke through the church gate and some of the people at the scene were trampled.

“The police are on the ground monitoring the situation while the investigation is ongoing,” according to Iringe-koko.

Nigeria has seen several deadly stampedes in recent years, including one last year in the northern state of Borno, which claimed seven lives. At least 15 people were killed in a stampede at an election rally for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

dj/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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