POLICE in Rivers state have confirmed two persons dead and several others injured as the distribution of Christmas packages by a nongovernmental organisation, INKSNATION, degenerated into a stampede.
Spokesman to Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said the tragedy happened Tuesday morning, at an event centre in Rumuodara, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, prompting immediate institution of investigation by Commissioner of Police (CP) Joseph Mukan.
Omoni explained, “Palliatives were being distributed by nongovernmental INKSNATION, to her registered members from Ikwerre, Emohua and Obio/Akpor LGAs, when suddenly there was a stampede leading to the death of two people.
“Some sustained various degrees of injuries and are currently receiving medical attention. Meanwhile, the situation is under control.
”The CP, Joseph Mukan has instituted immediate probe into the unfortunate incident with a view to ascertaining the circumstances and bringing persons found culpable to justice.”
Ibra KY, a participant observer of the development said the casualty figure could rise as several many people who showed up for the package were caught in the stampede as many were in a hurry to access the building and distribution point.
Ibra said the rush by the desperate crowd resulted in the stampede as some stepped on others who had fallen in the intense struggle to have a share of the package before it gets exhausted.
A viral online video on the development showed some of the victims collapsed, just as others groaned in pains over injuries sustained and yet others intervening to rescue some victims.
Vanguard News Nigeria