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The Rivers State Police Command has said a total of 31 persons died during a stampede at the venue of an outreach programme put together by a new generation church, Kings Assembly, in Port Harcourt on Saturday morning.
The church was said to have invited members of the public to partake in the event and promised that gift items and food would be served.
The church is located in the GRA axis of Port Harcourt, but the event was to hold at the Port Harcourt Polo Club, a bigger facility to accommodate the anticipated crowd.
The acting spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the 31 deaths, saying the church had organised the outreach to give out palliatives to the underprivileged before the unexpected occurred.
“It was 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 persons we 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.