Police confirm death of 31 persons in Rivers church stampede

A scene of the incident

Some persons have been reported to have died after a stampede occurred during a program organized by Kings Assembly, a new generation church in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The church program was held at the Polo Club in the state.

The church had an overflow after it invited members of the public for its fourth anniversary and it promised to share free food and gift items. A source told The Punch that most of the victims of the stampede were taken to a military hospital close-by.

The source said, “As I speak with you, I have counted 21 corpses at the military hospital. I heard some were taken to a different facility. This is not the first time the church is holding this programme, but the crowd since yesterday (Friday) till this morning is too much.”

In a latest development, the Rivers State Police confirmed that 31 persons have been confirmed dead from the church stampede. According to the acting spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, the turnout at the church program was unexpected. This was due to the palliatives that attendees were promised.

The Police spokesperson said, “It is 31 persons that died. It was a stampede because a church was trying to give out palliative. They were about to start the event. It was to start by 9am or so. But some people went there and broke into the place and went inside.

“So people started rushing in and there was a stampede. From the information we have, the church was trying to give gift items and food to assist the underprivileged.”

The Police spokesperson added that they have begun an investigation to ascertain the remote  and immediate causes of the incident. In her words, “Meanwhile, investigation has commenced to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident.” 

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