Monday, May 30, 2011

20 Die In Kwara State Stampede

About 20 persons have been reported dead during a stampede on Friday night in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The tragedy occurred around 10pm at the ‘Mandate House’, a building which serves as outgoing Governor Bukola Saraki’s campaign headquarters, during a valedictory ceremony in honour of the governor.

The governor and his entourage had left the venue before the incident occured. The event was well attended by supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A statement by the state government refuted the report, saying that only two died but that details were still being expected as of the time the statement was issued.

However, sources close to the venue said the casualty figure increased from the initial report of two as more of the victims were confirmed dead in hospitals where they were admitted.

The cause of  death has been attributed to the collapse of a portion of the building’s fence which fell on the victims. They were said to have queued up for money and four yards of Ankara cloth when it happened.

Corpses of the victims, said to be mostly women, have been deposited in hospitals within the metropolis.

Among those those confirmed dead in the hospitals include Afusat Maja, Rukayat Isiaka, Titilayo Suleiman, Balau Jimoh and Iyabo Isiak. Others are Laro Issa, Ayoka Anafi, Kaliatu Oba, Fasilat Alagbo, Zayadel Ayoka Ganiyu and Nimota Saliman.

The state Police Command's spokesperson, Dabo Ezekiel,  confirmed the incident, saying that it had already began investigation into the cause of the stampede. He declined to comment on the number of casualties.

The Kwara State Government described the incident as unfortunate, and has cancelled all other valedictory activities earlier scheduled for Saturday.

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