LAGOS, May 28 (Xinhua) -- At least 31 people died during a stampede at the venue of a church program in Nigeria's southern city of Port Harcourt in Rivers State on Saturday morning, said Nigerian police.
Grace Iringe-Koko, police spokesperson in the state, confirmed the casualties to reporters at the scene of the incident in Port Harcourt, the state capital, and said that one local church organized the outreach to give out palliatives to the underprivileged in society before the tragedy occurred.
"It is 31 people that died. It was a stampede because a church was trying to give out palliatives," Iringe-Koko said.
The event was scheduled to start by 9 a.m. local time, but some people went there earlier and broke into the place, resulting in the stampede, said the spokesperson.
"So people started rushing in and there was a stampede," she said.