The interim spokeswoman for the Rivers State Police said that “the investigation has begun to determine the causes of the incident.”
At least 31 people were killed this Saturday by a stampede that occurred at an event organized by a church in the city of Port Harcourt, in southern Nigeria, according to police reports.
The church, known as Kings Assembly, held an event in which it promised to give gift items and food to hundreds of congregants who turned out this morning and broke down a door, triggering the stampede.
“There are 31 people who have died,” Grace Iringe-Koko, interim spokeswoman for the Rivers State Police (whose capital is Port Harcourt), told reporters.
“They were about to start the event at 9:00 in the morning local time or so. But some people went there and stormed the place and entered. So people started running and there was a stampede,” he explained. Iringe-Koko.
The spokeswoman added that “the investigation has begun to determine the causes of the incident.”
The event occurred at the Polo Club of the city, where the church, seeing the number of people who had come, closed the door to prevent the entry of more people, according to witnesses told local media.
“The crowd outside became overwhelming and people forced the door open, causing a rush of people that caused the stampede. The distribution hadn’t even started,” a witness who identified himself as Effiong told The Nation.
“Many people died, others became unconscious and all were evacuated to hospital,” Effiong added.
Nigeria has suffered such events in the past, such as in February 2019, when at least 14 people were also killed in Port Harcourt and eight others were injured during a stampede following a campaign rally by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then running for to re-election.
Likewise, at least 28 people died and 200 were injured in November 2013 as a result of a stampede following a vigil at a religious center in the city of Ukeh, in the southern state of Anambra.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.