More than 30 people, including children, killed in stampede at church event in Nigeria

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(CNN) -- More than 30 people were killed and others injured when a stampede broke out at a church event in the southeastern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt on Saturday, according to police and security officials.

Most of the casualties were children.

The incident took place at a local polo club, where the nearby Kings Assembly Church had organized a gift donation drive, according to Olufemi Ayodele, a regional spokesman for Nigeria's Civil Defense Corps.

"During the process of distributing the gift items, there was a stampede due to overcrowding," he said. "Casualties were children mostly."

The drive had not yet started when the stampede took place, said Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, a spokeswoman for the state police. Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko said the crowd forced their way into the venue, despite the fact that the gate was closed, resulting in the deadly charge.

Thirty-one people have been confirmed dead, Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko said. Seven injured people were hospitalized after the incident, she added.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "More than 30 people, including children, killed in stampede at church event in Nigeria".