[QODLink]
Africa

Many killed in Nigeria church stampede

Officials search for cause of stampede at overnight vigil that killed at least 24 people in country's east.

Last Modified: 03 Nov 2013 13:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

At least 24 people have been killed and many more injured in a stampede at the end of a church vigil in eastern Nigeria, officials said.

Nineteen women were amongst the dead at the stampede in the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Uke, Anambra state on Saturday, where around 100,000 worshippers had gathered for All Souls Day, Red Cross spokesman Peter Kachi told Reuters news agency by telephone.

Authorities did not know what caused the stampede which happened as followers celebrated an overnight vigil to mark All Saints' Day.

"There were too many people and the place was so overcrowded," Osmond Okoli, who narrowly survived being squashed
in the crowd, told local station Channels TV. "We were too compacted so people fell and they were being pushed on us and then we all began to shout from the ground."

The event had been attended hours earlier by the local Anambra state governor, Peter Obi. He later returned to the scene and visited the injured in hospital, promising to set up an inquiry to establish the cause of the accident.

Anambra is about 300km south of Abuja. Religious services gathering several hundred thousand people are common in Nigeria, a country of around 170 million split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims.

197

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.