- Stampede in Nigerian church leaves at least 40 dead.
- A pregnant woman and at least three children were reported among the victims.
- They were going to distribute gifts and free food to residents at the event.
A stampede during a church service in Nigeria left at least 31 people dead at King’s Assembly Church in Port Harcourt. In addition to the terror that the families experienced during the chaos, witnesses said they saw many bodies on the ground, according to The Sun.
In the preliminary reports, local media has counted dozens of dead, including several children. They say that several families were crushed to death as dozens of people ran and there was a pregnant woman and at least three children among the victims.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE EVENT?
One of the witnesses informed the media that the tragedy occurred while the church’s “Shop For Free Programme” was being carried out to distribute gifts and food to celebrate its fourth anniversary. However, everything was reduced to chaos, leaving a trail of death and horror.
According to that person, the charity event was set to begin at 9am on Friday, but many people began to arrive around 6am. No one could have imagined what would happen next or what caused the deadly stampede. A video of the alleged tragedy has begun to circulate on social media, although has not been verified to be from that event. Several Twitter accounts have posted similar images of the stampede in a church in Nigeria with several deaths. To see the video click here.
HOW DID THE TRAGEDY START?
A source told the local media that a group of people was going to have a sports session at 8am, so they opened a door. The crowd then desperately and forcibly entered through that door although the event hadn’t started yet.
This caused the stampede to occur. Many people fell to the ground and were crushed by more people, causing some of them to be injured and others to die. The injured were sent to the nearest hospital in the Port Harcourt area. Filed Under: Nigeria church stampede dead
WHAT DID A WITNESS SAY?
According to a witness: “The incident happened this morning. The church invited people for its fourth annual food and gift distribution. Some came since Friday while many others came as early as 6.30am on Saturday.”
Notably shocked, the source added: “Those who were engaged in sporting activities opened the small gate and the surging crowd wanted to gain access through the small gate and got stampeded.”
HOW MANY BODIES COULD BE SEEN?
He concluded: “I counted about 21 dead bodies on the ground. This is not the first time the church is holding this programme, but the crowd since yesterday till this morning is much. It was said that gift items and free food would be served. It is very painful.”
In turn, the person in charge of communications for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident. However, she has not yet reported the number of victims or the number of injured as they were in the process of carrying out the investigation.