By Akpos Oghenetega,
No fewer than 8 persons reportedly died from a stampede that occurred when members of Non-Governmental Organisation besieged one of its offices in Rumuodara, along the East-West Road, near Port Harcourt.
However, police in the state confirmed that two people died, according to spokesman of Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, saying the Commissioner of Police has ordered a full-scale investigation into the incident.
Omoni in a statement said, “I can confirm the incident of this morning, at an event centre, along the Rumuodara axis of the East/West Road, Obio/Akpor LGA, where palliatives were being distributed by INKSNATION, a Non-Governmental Organisation to her registered members from Ikwerre, Emohua and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas, 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 Commissioner of Police, CP Joseph Mukan has instituted an immediate probe into the unfortunate incident with a view to ascertaining the circumstances and bringing persons found culpable to justice.”
The NGO, which styles itself as INKSNATION, it was gathered, had invited its registered members to receive their Christmas package at the location on Tuesday morning when the sad incident happened.
According to The Punch online report, a member of the NGO who simply gave her name as Chinaza, said that many people showed up for the package and were in a hurry to access the building, which led to a stampede, adding that people stepped on others in order not to miss out on the palliative.
“Many were injured in the pandemonium,” she added.
A viral online video shows some of the victims with bruises, while others have collapsed.
Some people were seen trying to rescue those who had collapsed.
An unconfirmed report put the actual figure of casualty as 8 persons against police report, according to one of the survival of the stampede who gave his name as Ngozi said, “many people died from the rush, I was lucky to have escaped with minor injuries, some others were not so lucky, from what I saw and heard about 8 persons died from the stampede.”