Five Suspects In Police Custody After Deadly Stampede

The Liberia National Police has confirmed the arrest and detention of five persons in connection with last week’s deadly church stampede, which left around 29 persons, including 11 children, dead in the Borough of  New Kru Town.

After the stampede, triggered by a criminal gang in the area, Police Director Patrick Sudue said his men and a team from the Liberian National Red Cross Society were able to respond in time to save the lives of 17 persons who were lying unconscious at the scene of the tragedy.

One person, who authorities say displayed a knife, was initially arrested in connection with the stampede.

Worshipers had gathered on a fenced-in football field outside a school in New Kru Town, when the men attacked shortly after nightfall, attempting to hijack their personal effects.

Police spokesman Moses Carter explained that as attendees rushed toward the exit, panic enveloped the crowd, which stampeded. Carter made it known that the police was not informed that the crusade was taking place.

Liberian President George Weahvisited the injured last Thursday afternoon. Doctors at Redemption Hospital said 15 people from the crusade had checked in, two with critical injuries.

“This is the first I’ve heard of a stampede at a crusade,” said Dr. Francis Kateh, Chief Medical Officer of Liberia.

The Liberian Red Cross and national emergency agency have been called to assist the injured and the families of the dead.

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