Scores Die in Port Harcourt Church Stampede

A pregnant woman and at least twenty persons are said to have died as a result of stampede which occurred this morning at the ‘Shop For Free programme’ organised by King’s Assembly Church,in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

An eye witness at the incident confirmed that a crowd had thronged for the church’s gift and food items distribution program.

He added that, many invitees arrived since Friday while others arrived as early as 6:30am this morning for an event that was slated 9am.

Part of the event was a sports session, pandemonium struck when more people arrived at about 8am and the small gate gave way to the surging crowd. In an attempt to force their way in, a stampede happened.

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“The incident happened this morning. The church invited people for it’s fourth edition of food and gift items distribution. Some came since Friday while many others came as early as 6:30am on Saturday.

“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. I counted about 21 dead bodies on the ground,” he said.

He explained that many victims had been taken to an unnamed hospital in Port Harcourt.

When contacted, the Rivers state Police Command Public Relation Officer, Iringe Grace Koko, said she was on her way to the scene of the incident to get accurate information.

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Some survivors of the accident have blamed the unfortunate incident on poor crowd control by the event organisers. The King’s Assembly Church is yet to release a statement on the issue.

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