A charity event in the southern part of Africa results in multiple fatalities

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) – Police say a stampede at a church charity event in southern Nigeria has left 31 people dead and seven injured. Police said the stampede at the program organized by the Kings Assembly pentecostal church in Rivers state involved many people who were seeking assistance. The event was an annual “Shop for Free” program organized by the church.

Such events are common in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, where more than 80 million people live in poverty. Police say Saturday’s charity program was supposed to begin at 9 a.m. but dozens arrived early and somehow broke open the locked gate. Doctors and emergency workers treated some of the injured as they lay in the open field.