At least 31 people died in Nigeria on Saturday during a stampede at a church in the southern Rivers state, a police spokesperson said.
Hundreds of people, who had turned up to receive food at the annual “Shop for Free” charity program organized by the church early on Saturday, broke through a gate, causing the stampede, 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 ongoing," said Iringe-Koko.
She noted that in addition to the deaths, seven other people were injured but “responding to treatment.”
Videos from the scene showed the clothing and shoes meant for the beneficiaries. Doctors and emergency workers treated some of the injured as they lay in the open field.