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World News

Church stampede sees 31 people killed, including children and pregnant woman

by Sophie Drew

At least 31 people have been killed in a stampede outside a church in Nigeria; Children, a mother and a pregnant woman are thought to be amongst the dead.

According to Associated Press, five of the children killed were siblings. 

The church was hosting a charity event which saw volunteers give free food to people in the community.

The ‘shop for free event’ was an annual occasion. 

Crowds arrived at the Pentecostal church hours before the start time, building to a number far more than the church expected.

Eventually, the gates were pushed down, creating a stampede. 

A further seven people have been injured. 

The King’s Assembly Church in Nigeria’s southern Rivers state aimed ‘to give hope’ to those in need. 

Crowds were expected to arrive at 9am, but some arrived as early as 5am. 

Grace Iringe-Koko, police spokesperson for Rivers state, said: "People were there earlier and some got impatient and started rushing, which led to stampeding.

"The police are on the ground monitoring the situation while the investigation is on going."

According to government statistics, an estimated 80 million people in the African nation live in poverty.

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