Three people are believed to have died and several others injured following a stampede at Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church at the Pretoria Showgrounds in South Africa.
Prophet Bushiri confirmed the accident through his personal attorney and ECG’s legal representative, Terence Baloyi, confirmed in an interview with South African media that the stampede happened on the church grounds on Friday evening.
Police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe told the African News Agency (ANA) that at least nine people were injured
Baloyi said the stampede occurred when an unexpected severe thunderstorm hit Pretoria and caught people who were coming to church off-guard.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering Church of prophet Shepard Bushiri in Pretoria says they fear three people might have died during a stampede at the church last night. The church’s legal representative, Terence Baloyi, says they are awaiting more information.
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) December 29, 2018
Three people who were unconscious have been taken to hospital and ten others were slightly injured when people rushed into the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church of prophet Shepard Bushiri in Pretoria yesterday. #sabcnews
— Radio 2000 (@Radio2000ZA) December 29, 2018
Baloyi said there was panic among the group, resulting in some people getting hurt in the dash to get inside the church to seek shelter.
“Regrettably, seemingly three people are said to be unconscious. We regret the incident as a church because it happened within our premises,” Baloyi has been quoted as saying by News24.
“Last report we have they were still with paramedics, since then we haven’t heard the latest,” added the Attorney.
Meanwhile, the South African Police Service says it’s investigating accident.