Two persons were feared dead, while many others were injured during scramble for Christmas palliatives on Tuesday morning at the Rumuodara community, a suburb of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.
AMILOADED gathered that people in and around the community had in their thousands stormed an event centre in the area where INKSNATION, a non-governmental organization, was distributing items to its members from Ikwerre, Emohua and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of the state as early as 8 am.
Our correspondent, however, reports that due to poor crowd management and the surge of persons who were not invited, the situation got out of control, leading to a stampede during which some persons fell and were trampled upon while others sustained injuries.
It was also gathered that the situation arouse because the organisation did not make any arrangement for control and orderly conduct of the thousands of people it invited for the event from three local government areas.
One of the members, who gave her name as Chinaza, said that many people showed up for the package and were in a hurry to access the building.
She told our correspondent that the situation 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.
Meanwhile, 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.”