29 Dead Following Stampede at Church Crusade in Liberia

                (A scene from the incident)

On Wednesday night, about 29 people were killed in a stampede that occurred at an all-night crusade at a church gathering at Monrovia, Liberia. The incident was confirmed by the deputy information minister, Jalawah Tonpo.  

After his visit to a hospital where some of the victims are being treated, Tonpo said, "The doctors said 29 persons died and some are on the critical list. This is a sad day for the country."

​​According to witnesses, the stampede happened after a street gang emerged at the end of the service because a monetary collection was made during the crusade. It was also reported that the crusade was organized by Apostle Abraham Kromah who is popular is a cleric and radio host. He is also the head pastor of the World of Life Outreach International. 

One of the attendees, Exodus Morias told Reuters, "We saw a group of men with cutlasses and other weapons coming toward the crowd. While running, some people dropped and others fell on the ground and walked over them."

There have been reoccurring cases of gang robbery on the streets of Liberia. According to reports, Zogos, one of notorious gangs in the country have committed several crimes in the past.  

National police spokesman, Moses Carter, told AFP that there may be an increase in the death toll as the 29 persons were the initial deaths and due to manner of the stampede, many have been left in critical condition. Among those who died were children. The dead persons have been taken to Redemption Hospital.

Kromah has been asked to support in the investigation. Also, the Liberian Red Cross and Disaster Management Agency have been urged to help those affected in the tragedy. A mourning period of three days have been declared by President George Weah.

In the past, there have been stampedes in the country. Last November, Associated Press reported that a stampede claimed the lives of two infants while several others were hospitalized.

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