At least 20 people in Tanzania were trampled to death at an open-air evangelical Christian church service in the north of the country, officials said on Sunday.
Government official Kippi Warioba, District Commissioner in the northern town of Moshi, said he feared the number of dead could still rise from the accident, which took place on Saturday afternoon.
“So far, 20 people have died, but the death toll could increase as there were also wounded,” Warioba told AFP.
The tragedy happened when a crowd of worshippers was attending a prayer ceremony on Saturday led by the popular preacher, Boniface Mwamposa, who heads the Arise and Shine Ministry Tanzania.
The stampede occurred when Mwamposa, who calls himself the “Apostle”, poured what he said was holy oil on the ground and the crowd surged toward to touch it in the hope of being cured of sickness, witnesses said.