Church where three women died in stampede found short on safety
After a tragic stampede that rocked Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering Church in December, an inspection by the city of Tshwane found the venue to be noncompliant on safety issues.
This was revealed after a site inspection by the city’s fire and emergency services department.
The stampede claimed the lives of three women and left dozens of congregants injured.
“The Msimanga administration is to issue remedial instructions, in the form of an official order to comply, to the ECG Church,” city spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said.
The inspection found:
● The escape routes leading to the escape doors obstructed;
● Escape doors to be used during an emergency obstructed;
● Insufficient fire-fighting equipment provided;
● No emergency lights are provided in the facility;
● No emergency evacuation plan is available;
● Improper storage of dangerous goods; and
● A diesel trailer is stored inside the building.
“There was also no proper seating arrangement during the inspection.
“The department can therefore not comment on the population load. It was, however, noted by the number of chairs stacked in the halls that the population is perceived to be high during sermons,” Mgobozi said.
The city said an order to comply would be issued.
The city has urged the public to allow the law to take its course.
“In our endeavour to ensure a safer Tshwane, we will follow up with in loco inspections to ensure the building is brought up to code and to avoid another such tragedy.”
Police spokesperson Capt Augustine Selepe said no arrests had been made following the incident but an investigation was at an advanced stage with results likely to be released next week. –