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22 pilgrims hospitalized after suffocating in Namugongo

Red Cross officials at work

Red Cross officials at work

At least 22 pilgrims have been taken to Mulago hospital after suffocating and sustaining injuries while at the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo.  

Namugongo Red Cross team leader, Kenneth Kategaya, said the pilgrims were in life-threatening condition and a decision was swiftly made to rush them to Kiruddu, Kawempe and Mulago main hospitals for expert medical attention.  

Kategeya said some of the pilgrims had head injuries sustained while struggling to gain access to the Catholic Martyrs Shrine. Some pilgrims were seen struggling to save children that were mangled in the crowd.  

The Red Cross team said that it had handled 1,027 emergencies since Thursday. Most of the cases had swollen feet, eye infections and others had chronic illnesses that intensified due to walking long distances and being in overcrowded places.  

Meanwhile, security forces are struggling to stop pilgrims from entering Catholic Martyrs Shrine due to insufficient space inside. Thousands of others are still stuck in long queues far away from the shrine 

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