Nigeria stampede: church still looking for relatives of the victims

4 weeks ago 352

A church in Nigeria's southern city of Port Harcourt is still trying to trace relatives of some of the victims of Saturday's stampede that killed 31 people.

The tragedy occurred when a crowd reportedly rushed to receive food and other gift items being given away to the poor, resulting in a stampede.

One of the youngest victims of the deadly stampede was five-year-old Delight Eke.

His parents took him and his two younger siblings to the charity event. But he didn't make it out alive. Many of those who died in the crash were women and children.

"When I got myself back, I became conscious again, I started looking for my son. I look for my son. I saw him and when I watched him, I saw that he was already on the ground, dead. I took him up and tried to shout for help. Even the security, these people that were in charge, they were wearing that black polo shirt for free (indistinct) We could not see anybody to help. What we see is people just scatter. I don't know whether they were trying to help us or trying to save their own life or trying to see what they can do. I don't know. All I know is I was shouting for help, nobody to help. People were lying dead, shouting for help, nobody to help," said Samuel Eke, Delight's father.

Another victim was seven-year-old Delight Ogazilim Boms. She was there with her mother when the frantic pushing began.

"This my daughter we are talking about. I have three children, three daughters. Among them she was first. She was so close to me. I carry her everywhere (indistinct), I carry her to all our ministry programs. In the church, everybody knows her," said Jude Boms, her father.

The friend of another victim, the 37-year-old mother of two Patience Emesiobi, said he had dropped Patience off early at the event only to be called back after the deadly stampede.

"I rushed to the gate. There was no way for me to go through the crowd. I had to climb the fence to access the premises. And when I got towards the gate, around that security post, there were a lot of persons affected, a lot of persons. I really never counted it. But I was really trying to figure out where my friend was. I finally saw her, and to my judgment, at that point, she was lifeless. The church asked that the protocols say let us carry these persons to the hospital. I and about three other persons took a vehicle provided by the church, and we took her to the military hospital and that was where they confirmed her dead," said Felix Enizibo.

The police are investigating the incident.

The Church put out a statement saying it is working to identify relatives of the victims, some of whom have been waiting outside the church for news.

Additional sources • AFP

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