Lagos, 3 November
A stampede at an all-night church vigil disrupted by politicking over a contentious gubernatorial election has killed 24 people and injured 17 in Nigeria&’s southeast Anambra state, the Red Cross and government officials said today.
The stampede occurred before dawn yesterday at an All Saints’ Day open-air vigil organised by St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in the town of Uke, according to the deputy inspector general of police, Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji.
Dr Peter Katchy of the local Red Cross chapter said they had a mobile clinic and small emergency station posted at the grounds because more than 100,000 people had gathered for very popular healing sessions by a local priest.
“There was a stampede, everybody said they heard someone crying ‘Fire! Fire!’ and in that stampeding some people were suffocated: 24 persons died there, five males, 19 females,” Katchy told AP. He said another 17 casualties were hospitalised.
Katchy blamed “an over-large crowd and lack of crowd control.”