One dead, 400 injured in religious procession

2015-01-09 09:23

A 44-year-old man was killed and more than 400 injured today in the Philippines’ largest religious procession honouring a centuries-old statue of Jesus Christ.

The victim suffered a heart attack as men, women and children, mostly barefoot, wearing maroon T-shirts and waving white handkerchiefs or towels, jostled to get near the statue of the Black Nazarene on a carriage.

“The man was rushed to a nearby hospital but he was declared dead on arrival,” said Johnny Yu, a disaster relief officer in Manila City.

More than 400 people also sought first-aid assistance for difficulty in breathing, dizziness, high blood pressure, cuts on their feet and legs and other injuries, he added.

The 6.7km procession was moving at a snail’s pace and expected to end around midnight at Quiapo Church, home of the statue.

Organisers said they expected more than 12 million people to join the annual event, but it was difficult to confirm the actual number of devotees as they moved in and out of the procession. Police estimated the crowd was more than half a million at times.

The feast of the Black Nazarene is one of the most celebrated religious events in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, where more than 80% of the population professes the faith.

The wooden statue of Christ, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, is believed to have been brought from Mexico to Manila in 1606 by Spanish missionaries. The ship that carried it caught fire, but the charred statue survived and was named the Black Nazarene.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.