Another devotee of the Black Nazarene, Christian Mhel Lim, 19, of Paco, Manila died as the procession neared the Quiapo Church before dawn on Saturday. Lim was apparently crushed by the surge of the massive crowd.
Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Quiapo Church, called for an investigation of Lim’s death. The priest said Lim was a “good son” who came from a poor family.
“The people are rushing in toward church and were pushing from the side.
Something might have hit him [Lim] and he may have been too exhausted. He was already lifeless when he was found by the Hijos del Nazareno,” Ignacio said.
Earlier on Friday, devotee Renato Gurion, 44, of Sampaloc, Manila suffered a heart attack while the procession was making its way out of the Quirino grandstand. He died on arrival at the Manila Doctors Hospital.
Ignacio extended condolences to the families of the two devotees.
“We are saddened by these tragedies and the Church is extending its deepest sympathy to them,” he said.
Ignacio added that the Church is willing to provide all the necessary assistance and will coordinate with the families of the victims.
The procession of the Black Nazarene safely reached Quiapo Church early Saturday morning after 19 hours of traversing the streets of Manila.
The Black Nazarene arrived at the church at 3:38 a.m.
Ignacio commended the improved discipline displayed by the devotees this year.
“The behavior of the crowd of devotees has improved a lot. At the Luneta, the devotees marched and cooperated well. The temperature during this year’s procession was also cooler because of a drizzle,” he said.
It was estimated that at least 5.5 million of devotees of the Black Nazarene joined this year’s traslacion.