Three women were killed and nine other people injured during a stampede at Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s church in Pretoria, South Africa on Friday night.
The SABC on Sunday quoted police spokesperson Augustinah Selepe as saying that congregants at a church service had started to push each other in a scramble to find shelter during a heavy downpour there on Friday evening.
“Our preliminary report indicates that the community assembled at the showground to attend the church service around 8pm at Hall C. According to them, when the rain started the congregation started to push each other and a stampede occurred. Unfortunately that led to three deaths and nine injuries,” Selepe said.
Enlightened Christian Gathering Church legal representative Terence Baloyi said congregants had panicked during the thunderstorm.
Baloyi said some people panicked and he confirmed that three people were knocked unconscious. “We regret the incident as a church because it happened within our premises,” Baloyi said at the time.
However, according to the police, the exact cause of the incident is still unconfirmed. Police have also requested that anyone with information about a missing person, who attended the church service, please contact the Pretoria West police station.
The deceased were reportedly taken to the mortuary. Police have opened an inquest for investigation.