National Tragedy Strikes, 3 Days Mourning Declared!!! -As Politicians, Clergy Unite to Sympathize with Victims

Tragedy struck Liberia on Wednesday when at least 28 persons met their untimely demise in the Borough of New Kru Town following a stampede at a Church Crusade. In the aftermath of the tragic event, President George M. Weah declared a 3-day state of National Mourning in commemoration of the heavy loss of lives. The incident is reported to have taken place during an open-air church service in the area.

The stampede happened in the aftermath of a major crusade where thousands of residents from New Kru Town and parts of Montserrado County were hosted by famous Liberian Prophet, Apostle Abraham Kromah, which climaxed at about 9pm on Wednesday January 19, 2022.

In the wake of the calamity, the Liberian Leader has ordered that the national ensign be flown at half-mast at all public buildings throughout the Republic while the nation mourns.

While stating that he is disheartened by such a national calamity, President Weah has mandated the police to conduct a full-scale investigation to ascertain whether or not there is criminal culpability. He urged the authorities of the LNP to ensure the investigation is speedy and thorough, saying that anyone found liable will be dealt with by the law.

The Liberian leader has also called on health authorities, including the Liberian National Red Cross and the Disaster Management Agency, to assist with treatment and recovery efforts.

President Weah has conveyed his deepest sympathies to the families of the bereaved while thanking all those who provided help to the victims in the immediate aftermath of the stampede.

Meanwhile, the dedication ceremony of the new Duala Market which was to be performed by the President today has been postponed indefinitely in deference to the deceased.

Earlier, House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers had led a team of lawmakers to the Redemption Hospital in the Borough of New Kru Town where the bodies of the deceased were deposited.

According to reports, several Liberians who had met their untimely death and others who remain in critical conditions are at the Redemption Hospital on the Bushrod Island due to what was said to be a stampede.

Speaker Chambers described the situation as troubling and a great loss not only to the people of New Kru Town, but Liberia as a whole.  Dr. Chambers on behalf of the Legislature further expressed condolences to the people of District #16 and the bereaved families.

Also, following the path of empathy shown to the victims by the Executive and Legislative branches of the Liberian government, politicians and political parties proffered their condolences for the tragic loss of lives.

The opposition Liberty Party (LP) in a press statement said it is saddened by the devastating news of the loss of lives on Wednesday night following a stampede at a religious gathering in New Kru Town.

“The LP extended condolences to the families in this time of bereavement and prays for the Lord’s comfort to these families. The Liberty Party sees this as a national calamity that has negatively impacted the joy associated with religious crusades, that is known in Liberia as a time of interceding and invoking God’s blessings not only for our families, but for the nation as whole. It is unfortunate that such calamity involving the loss of precious lives has befallen the nation.

“The LP is calling on the Government and all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation into the cause of the stampede that led to the loss of so many lives so as to give the families some closure and implement measures to help mitigate any future occurrence of such,” the Liberty Party press release stated.

In similar fashion, Presidential Aspirant Nathaniel Barnes through “Team Barnes” also expressed condolences over the national disaster.

“We awoke this morning to the shocking news of (the) tragic death of over thirty Liberians who had gone to execute their religious duties. This is unbelievable! It is with profound regret that Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes receives this unimaginable news and with no hesitation sends his deepest condolences to the bereaved families (and the nation.)

“We also further caution the religious communities to consider security as a major priority in these gatherings so as to avoid any future occurrences. While we caution the religious community on the welfare of their members who are our citizens, we also extend our sympathy specifically to the Christian community for such an irretrievable loss. This is a national disaster and we are doing everything to reach out to the bereaved families to express how broken our hearts are. Liberia is mourning right now and we are equally in deep sorrow for the loss of these family members. We ask that God himself console them. May their souls rest in perfect peace,” Team Barnes stated.

Meanwhile, Pastor Kromah’s church has released a press statement in which it was stated that the General Overseer of the World of Life Outreach Mission International (WOLOMI), the entire membership of the church and the Christian Community regret the loss of the lives of several Liberians who were returning home after a daylong crusade in the township of New Kru Township, outside the Nation’s Capital, Monrovia.

The release, which was signed by Bedeskoe Nyumah Tumbay, Communication Associate, said that Apostle Abraham Kromah is deeply saddened by the death of those Liberians which occurred on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at about 9:00pm.

“As we regret such an incident, the church is currently working together with the Liberia National Police (LNP) who is conducting the investigation into the incident,” the Church stated.

“At the same time, we are making every effort to get in touch with the bereaved families who lost their loved ones while seeking the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May their Souls Rest in Peace,” the release concluded.

Adding his voice to the lamentations for the national tragedy, the President of the Liberia Council of Churches, Reverend Kortu Brown, while visiting the ghastly scene, had this to say: “To God be the Glory! What a tragedy? Liberia is mourning. The Church is weeping. Here we are standing on the D. Tweh School Campus in New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, Monrovia where the reported revival crusade crashed last night resulting in the unfortunate and unexpected deaths and injuries of several persons. Here before us are the slippers left behind by people who reportedly fled for their lives last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with hurting and bereaved families. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in perfect peace.”

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