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‘Shop for Free’ Over 30 killed in stampede at church event in Rivers


‘Shop for Free’ Over 30 killed in stampede at church event in Rivers

At least 31 persons have been confirmed dead in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital, following a stampede at the venue of a church programme in the state.

The programme — ‘Shop for Free’ — organised by The King’s Assembly was scheduled to begin on Saturday morning.

However, there was a crowd at the venue of the event, which was expected to offer free food items to attendees.


The movement of the crowd, which resulted in a stampede, led to the death of scores of persons.

Grace Iringe-Koko, spokesperson of the Rivers police command, confirmed the development.

“There was a stampede in the said church and 31 persons were confirmed dead at the military hospital,” she said.

“Everywhere is calm for now and there is peace. Investigation is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, this isn’t the first edition of the church programme, which is held annually.

It is, however, not clear if there were arrangements for crowd control or for medical emergencies.

According to a message announcing the programme on the church’s website, household items, furniture, shoes, among others, were also available for attendees.

“For many, it is tough to get through each day. The economy and the state of the nation has kept many out of job and left others with little or nothing to cater for themselves or their loved ones. Hope seems like a fluke and living a struggle,” the message reads.

“It is to this end that we host our annual event – ‘Shop for Free’, where we put God’s love into action and reach out to those in our immediate community with encouragement to keep hope alive.

“From foodstuff to household items, furniture and supplies, clothes, shoes and sundry items for adults and kids, there is no limit to the gift items that are given out during this event.

“You can be a part of this by dropping your gift items at any of our locations on Service days or use the button below to either get gift basket(s) for a home or make a cash gift to keep someone’s hope alive.”

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