Rivers: 31 die in church’s free food stampede



The Rivers State Police Command, in Port Harcourt on Saturday, confirmed the death of 31 worshippers of Kings Assembly, a new generation Church.

The acting Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed that 31 persons died in the stampede.

“Thirty-one persons for now have been confirmed dead and those injured are responding to treatment. We are investigating to find out what really happened

“It was 31 persons that died. It was a stampede because a Church was trying to give out palliatives.

“They were about to start the event. It was to start by 9am or so. But some persons 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 gift items and food to assist the underprivileged.

“Meanwhile, investigation has commenced to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident.” Iringe-Koko a Superintendent of Police, stated.

Earlier this morning, a stampede occured at an event which was to hold at the Port Harcourt Polo Club, organized by a new generation church the Kings Assembly in Port Harcourt, GRA, Rivers State.

The Network gathered that the leadership of the church invited members of the public to receive food and gift items as part of the arrangement to mark its fourth anniversary celebration.

It was learnt that a good number of the people who responded to the call started arriving the venue on Friday evening.

It was learned that the number of anxious and expectant poor, looking for food at the church gate had increased to a massive crowd as early as 6:30 am for the event scheduled for 9am.

The Network gathered that the stampede occurred when the gate was forced open by the surging crowd trying a gain entrance to the venue.

At the end of the fierce uncontrolled struggle, 31 bodies were picked from the floor while a large number of the weak, unconscious and injured were evacuated to the hospital for urgent medical attention,

“This sad, unfortunate incident happened this morning at Kings Assembly, GRA, Port Harcourt. The church invited members of the public to come for food and gift items. It is part of the arrangement for its fourth anniversary.

“The problem was that so many people started moving there since Friday. Today in the morning, the crowd had become massive.

”People came as early as 6.30am on Saturday. Somebody opened the small gate and all the people who wanted to gain entrance approached the gate suddenly with force and that caused the stampede.

“So many people died as a result of the incident while many were rushed to the hospital. In fact, not less than 21 bodies have been moved to the mortuary,” a source said.