Stampede at Indonesian Soccer Match Leaves 129 Dead and 180 Injured (VIDEOS)

A stampede at an Indonesian soccer match left 129 people dead on Saturday evening.

The deadly incident took place at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in the city of Malang in East Java province.

A riot broke out after the Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city lost to Persebaya of Surabaya 3-2.

“Disappointed after their team’s loss, thousands of supporters of Arema, known as ‘Aremania,’ reacted by throwing bottles and other objects at players and soccer officials,” according to a report from the Associated Press. “Fans flooded the Kanjuruhan Stadium pitch in protest and demanded that Arema management explain why, after 23 years of undefeated home games, this match ended in a loss, witnesses said.”

The report added that “the rioting spread outside the stadium where at least five police vehicles were toppled and set ablaze amid the chaos. Riot police responded by firing tear gas, including toward the stadium’s stands, causing panic among the crowd. Tear gas is banned at soccer stadiums by FIFA.”

Some of the casualties were due to suffocation, while others were trampled running for the exit.

“In the chaos, 34 died at the stadium, including two officers, and some reports include children among the casualties,” the AP report said.

Over 300 people were rushed to the hospital with injuries, but many died during transport.

“We have already done a preventive action before finally firing the tear gas as (fans) began to attack the police, acting anarchically and burning vehicles,” said East Java Police chief Nico Afinta in a news conference early Sunday.

The police chief said that the death toll is likely to rise as many of the 180 people still hospitalized are deteriorating.

Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo urged people to maintain sportsmanship in the future.

“I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last soccer tragedy in this country, don’t let another human tragedy like this happen in the future,” Widodo said. “We must continue to maintain sportsmanship, humanity and a sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation.”


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