Breaking: 31 Die in Rivers Church Stampede
Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
31 persons have been confirmed dead in a stampede Saturday, during a church free food programme in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State.
THISDAY gathered that a new generation church, ‘Kings Assembly’, had invited the public for its fourth edition of free gifts and food items distribution, fixed for May 28, 2022.
Information gathered showed that some of the invitees arrived at Polo Club, in Port Harcourt, the venue for the distribution of the free items on Friday, while others were at the venue as early as 6am.
It was learned that the programme was scheduled for 9am, but the invitees were already at the gate three hours earlier.
According to sources from the scene of the incident, as at about 6.30am, the crowd of people were already at the gate trying to force themselves inside the polo club premises.
It was disclosed that as soon as some bouncers opened a small gate, the crowd started scrambling to get into the premises which resulted in a stampede, leading to the number of deaths.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Grace Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the incident to THISDAY, disclosed that 31 persons lost their lives in the stampede.
The Police image maker also revealed that some of the victims who survived the incident and seriously injured had been rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
“31 persons lost their lives at the church programme in Polo Club, Port Harcourt. Everywhere is calm now and those that were injured are in the hospital right now responding to treatment”.
As at the time of filing this report, the church was yet to react to the incident.