Dozens killed in stampede at church event in Nigeria

event in Nigeria The stamped happened as hundreds of people gathered at the annual ‘Shop for Free’ charity event in Rivers state, a police spokesperson said.

At least 31 people kill during a stampede at a church charity event in southern Nigeria’s Port Harcourt city, according to the police.

Hundreds of people who had turned up

to receive food at the event early on Saturday broke through a gate, causing the stampede. Grace Iringe-Koko, police spokesperson for Rivers state, of which Port Harcourt is the capital, said.

“People were there earlier and some got impatient and started rushing event in Nigeria,

which led to stampeding. police are on the ground monitoring the situation while the investigation is ongoing,” Iringe-Koko told Reuters.

police spokesperson said seven others were injured but are “responding to treatment” in the wake of the stampede at the event that organisers say aim to “offer hope” to the needy.

The police spokesperson say an investigation launch and a report would release in due course event in Nigeria.

Al Jazeera’s Fidelis Mbah reporting from the Nigerian capital, Abuja said the death toll could rise.

“Witnesses say the number could be higher than the official figure given by police. A similar incident also happened in December 2020 after a business organisation tried to give out donations to poor people in Port Harcourt,” Mbah said.

“About eight people kill in that incident. The government call for an investigation to find out whether adequate security measures were put in place to ensure such incidents do not happen again,” he add.

Videos from the scene showed the clothing and shoes event in Nigeria

meant for the beneficiaries scattered on the ground. Doctors and emergency workers treated some of the injured as they lay in the open field.

The “Shop for Free” event suspend while authorities investigated how the stampede occurred.

Such events are common in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. Where more than 80 million people live in poverty, according to government statistics.

Nigeria has seen several stampede tragedies over food distribution in recent years. Including an aid agency food programme in north Borno State where seven women trample to death last year.