November 21, 2014 / 11:33 AM / 3 years ago

Zimbabwe stadium church service stampede kills 11: police

HARARE (Reuters) - Eleven people were killed and dozens injured in a stampede at a stadium in Zimbabwe, as thousands of people at a church service tried to leave through the same exit, police said on Friday.

Around 30,000 people packed into a stadium in Kwekwe, 213 km (130 miles) west of Harare, on Thursday evening to listen to Walter Magaya, a pastor who draws huge crowds, Senior Assistant Commissioner Shadreck Mubaiwa told Reuters.

When the service ended the congregation rushed toward a single exit, in a stampede that killed four people on the spot. Another seven were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

"Police tried to rescue people but they were overwhelmed by the crowds. It is unfortunate that people wanted to rush out, which made it difficult to contain the situation," Mubaiwa said.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Joe Brock and Andrew Roche

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