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8 serious in Palawan stampede
« on: November 29, 2008, 12:41:39 AM »
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines -- At least eight people are in serious condition while scores were injured when a stampede marred a provincial convention of rural health workers at the Abueg Gymnasium of the Palawan National High School Friday.

Over 2,000 people, mostly government health workers and provincial government officials attending the convention, were inside the gymnasium when someone reportedly shouted a bomb was about to explode, triggering the stampede.

“First there was an electrical spark that caused a noise in the back section of the gymnasium. Then I heard someone said there was a bomb. Then suddenly everybody was running towards the exit,” barangay (village) captain Emma Padul of Bohol, Dumaran told reporters in Filipino.

Records of the Provincial Hospital, where the victims were brought, indicated at least 54 people were injured.

Dr. Eduardo Cruz, acting provincial health officer, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of, however, that they are still consolidating patient records, while admitting that they have confined at least eight of the victims, including a 4-year old child, for close observation.

“We cannot determine so far how many persons were exactly wounded as we are still consolidating the records. But we have so far eight patients who are under close observation,” Cruz told the Inquirer.

Cruz, who was presiding over the 6th annual convention of the Palawan Barangay Health Workers, said he was seated in front of the assembly when he saw people at one side of the gymnasium beginning to panic.

“I was far from where it happened, but I noticed from one side of the gym that people started to run,” he said.

The gymnasium has a seating capacity of over 5,000 people, according to school officials.(

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