Liberia: 2 Kids Die in Stampede at Crusade in Kakata

Parents and their children showed up as early as 3 a.m., anticipating free school supplies at the crusade to Pastor Mohammed Sanogo.  

-- Several others hospitalized 

By Christopher Wiah

At least two kids have been confirmed dead and several hospitalized as a result of a stampede at the Nancy Doe sports stadium in Kakata, Margibi County, during the climax of a three-day crusade organized by a visiting Ivorian pastor, Mohammed Sanogo.

Ahead of the crusade, there were public announcements that gifts, including book bags and other assorted school supplies, would be distributed among about five thousand students, a situation that prompted parents and their children to show up as early as 3 a.m. 

The incident took place early Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 6 a.m. One of the kids fainted in the crowd, causing a stampede as hundreds of other kids and their accompanying adults fled.   Several children were rendered unconscious, while health authorities confirmed two dead so far. 

The kids confirmed dead include Ben Kamara, age, 2, and Jallah Mollay, age 6. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Zuannah Mollay, father of the late Jallah, said he received a call by 6:30 am that his child was unconscious at the stadium and in need of oxygen. Upon his arrival, he was told that his child was dead.

Mollay said he felt very frustrated about the sudden death of his son, who he claimed died as a result of a scuffle in the queue while expecting their gifts package. 

“I feel very frustrated because he did not get sick, only to hear he is dead,” Mollay Lamented.

According to Mollay, the deceased child was accompanied by his mother to the stadium before the unfortunate incident.

“My woman told me that what led to our son falling unconscious is that the children were in the queue and other kids who came later wanted to go to the front of the queue. The security on the ground tried to arrange them better, but another crowd was coming down toward them, and whoever that did not have weight fell. So he fell and was trampled on. That’s how he became unconscious,” he narrated. 

Maima Kebea, the aunt of 2-year-old Ben Kamara, narrated that little Ben was on his mother’s back when they both entered the stadium but, due to the tension, the mother fell with him and the crowd trampled the child, causing him to go unconscious. He was rushed to the Kakata Health Center, where he was pronounced dead.    

Meanwhile, several other children are still undergoing medical attention at the Modern Clinic, Kohene Clinic, and the Kakata Health Center.

Up to now, there has been no official response from officials of the Impact Liberia Crusade as Pastor Mohammed Sanogo, organizer of the crusade left Kakata immediately after the stadium stampede under heavy security escort to Monrovia.