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At least 31 killed in stampede in southern Nigeria: police

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-28 22:15

At least 31 people died during a stampede at the venue of a church program in Nigeria's southern city of Port Harcourt in Rivers State on Saturday morning, said Nigerian police.

Grace Iringe-Koko, police spokesperson in the state, confirmed the casualties to reporters at the scene of the incident in Port Harcourt, the state capital, and said one local church organized the outreach to give out palliatives to the underprivileged in society before the tragedy occurred.

"It is 31 people that died. It was a stampede because a church was trying to give out palliatives," Iringe-Koko said.

The event was scheduled to start by 9 am local time, but some people went there earlier and broke into the place, resulting in the stampede, said the spokesperson.

"So people started rushing in and there was a stampede," she said.

Speaking to Xinhua on the phone, Iringe-Koko said rescue operators are working at the scene of the incident, and an investigation has been launched by the police to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident.

According to the spokesperson, the nature of the church program was bound to attract a crowd.

A stampede incident in December 2020 also claimed some lives when a crowd gathered for a Christmas palliative organized by an online sales platform in Port Harcourt, according to local broadcaster Channels TV on Saturday.

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