Indonesian authorities say 125 killed in football stadium stampede

  • More than 320 injured in crowd stampede
  • Indonesian Football Federation suspends league investigation
  • Police say they fired tear gas to control crowd

MALANG, Indonesia, Oct 2 (Reuters) – At least 125 people were killed and more than 320 injured in a stampede at a soccer stadium in Indonesia after police tried to quell violence on the field, authorities said on Sunday. One of the worst events in the world. Stage disaster.

After the final whistle in Malang, East Java, on Saturday night, officials fired tear gas to try to disperse the losing home team who had stormed the pitch after the game, regional police chief Nico Affanta told reporters. Excited supporters.

“It’s become anarchic. They start attacking the police, they damage cars,” Nico said, adding that the infatuation occurred as fans fled for the exit.

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Some local officials put the death toll at 174, but East Java Deputy Governor Emil Dardak said the death toll was subsequently lowered to 125.

Earlier figures could include repeat deaths, he said.

An East Java police spokesman said 323 people were injured, up from 180 initially.

The stadium disaster appears to be the worst the world has seen in decades.

Video footage from a local news channel showed what appeared to be tear gas as fans poured into the pitch after Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya at around 10pm (1500GMT) Gas cloud and comatose fans were carried out of the venue.

Paramedic Bobby Prabowo said many of the victims at the nearby Kanjuluhan Hospital suffered trauma, shortness of breath and lack of oxygen as a large number of people at the scene were affected by tear gas.

The head of another hospital in the area told Metro TV that some of the victims suffered brain injuries, including a 5-year-old child.

President Joko Widodo said authorities must thoroughly assess the safety of the game, adding that he hoped it would be “the last football tragedy in the country”.

It is known that Jokowi ordered the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI) to suspend all matches in top league BRI Liga 1 until the investigation is completed.

tear gas rules

World football’s governing body FIFA, in its safety regulations, states that stewards or police officers must not carry or use firearms or “crowd control gas”.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

In a statement to Reuters, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the football world was “in a state of shock following the tragic events in Indonesia” which were “a dark day for all involved” .

PSSI secretary general Yunus Nussi told reporters that FIFA had asked PSSI to report the incident and a team had been sent to Malang to investigate.

A commissioner from Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission told Reuters there were also plans to investigate security at the site, including the use of tear gas.

“Many of our friends lost their lives because of the police who dehumanized us,” said 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono, crying as he nursed his severed arm at the local Kanjuruhan hospital. “Many lives were wasted.”

On Sunday, mourners gathered outside the stadium gates to lay flowers for the victims.

Amnesty International Indonesia slammed the security measures, saying “the state’s use of excessive force…to contain or control such groups is simply not justified”.

The country’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said in an Instagram post that the stadium was overcrowded. About 42,000 tickets have been issued for a stadium designed to hold 38,000 people, he said.

indonesian football scene

East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa told reporters that financial assistance would be provided to the injured and the families of the victims.

Trouble has also erupted at matches in Indonesia before, with fierce rivalry between clubs sometimes leading to violent clashes between supporters.

Crowds filled the stadium, but football stadiums in Indonesia, a country of 275 million people, were battered by hooliganism, harsh policing and mismanagement.

Indonesian Sports Minister Zainudin Amali told KompasTV that the ministry will re-evaluate the safety of football matches, including considering not allowing spectators into stadiums.

Periodic stage disasters have shocked fans around the world. In 1964, when Peru hosted Argentina at the National Stadium, 328 people were killed in one match.

In a British disaster in 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death when the Sheffield Hillsborough Stadium collapsed.

Indonesia is scheduled to host the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in May and June next year. They are also one of three countries bidding to host next year’s Asian Cup, the European equivalent of continental Europe, after China withdrew from the hosts.

“He is deeply shocked and saddened to hear such tragic news from football-loving Indonesia,” AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa said in a statement. , expresses condolences to the victims and their families and friends.

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Reporting by Yuddy Cahya Budiman and Prasto Wardoyo in Malang, Stefanno Sulaiman and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta, and Tommy Lund in Gdansk Writing by Kate Lamb Editing by Ed Davies, William Mallard, Kim Coghill and Frances Kerry

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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