At least 174 people died and hundreds were injured in violence and a crowd crush after an Indonesian league football match, the deputy east Java governor has said.
Supporters of the Javanese clubs and longtime rivals Arema and Persebaya Surabaya clashed after Arema were defeated 3-2 at the match in Malang Regency, East Java.
Supporters from the losing side invaded the pitch and authorities fired teargas, leading to a crush and cases of suffocation, said East Java’s police chief, Nico Afinta.
Thirty-four people died in the Kanjuruhan stadium and the rest while in hospital, and hundreds were injured, he said. Two police officers were among the dead
Many people were crushed and suffocated when they ran to one exit, Afinta said.
“They went out to one point at the exit, then there was a buildup – in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen.”
A police spokesperson later put the death toll at 129 in one of the world’s deadliest sporting stadium disasters. A hospital director told local TV that one victim was aged five.
Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said the number of spectators exceeded the capacity of the Kanjuruhan stadium.
He said in an Instagram post on Sunday that 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium that had a capacity to hold 38,000 people.
The head of the Malang Regency health office, Wiyanto Wijoyo, said earlier that officials were still collating the numbers of injured.
Victims “died of chaos, overcrowding, trampling and suffocation”, Wiyanto said, adding that the injured were referred to different local hospitals.
Fighting reportedly started when the thousands of Arema fans rushed on to the field. Persebaya players immediately left it but several Arema players still on the field were also attacked.
Local reports said up to 3,000 spectators had taken to the field, out of a crowd of 40,000. Police said 13 vehicles were damaged, including 10 police cars.
Images captured from inside the stadium showed huge amounts of teargas and people clambering over fences. People were carrying injured spectators through the chaos.
Video footage circulating on social media showed people shouting obscenities at police, who were holding riot shields.
Torched vehicles, including a police truck, littered the streets outside the stadium on Sunday morning.
The Indonesian government apologised for the disaster and promised to investigate its circumstances.
“We’re sorry for this incident … this is a regrettable incident that ‘injures’ our football at a time when supporters can watch football matches from the stadium,” the Indonesian sports and youth minister, Zainudin Amali, told broadcaster Kompas.
Originally posted on October 2, 2022 @ 8:43 am