Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Stampede, riot at Indonesia soccer match kill 129

Stampede, riot at Indonesia soccer match kill 129

JAKARTA (Reuters) - At least 129 people were killed and around 180 injured at a soccer match in Indonesia after a crowd stampede during a riot, police said on Sunday, in what appears to be one of the world's worst stadium disasters.

When supporters of the losing home team invaded the pitch in East Java province on Saturday night to express their frustration, officers fired tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering a stampede and cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters.

"It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars," Nico said, adding that the crush occurred when fans fled for an exit gate.

Video footage from local news channels showed fans streaming onto the pitch in the stadium in Malang after Arema FC lost to Persebaya Surabaya. Scuffles can be seen, with what appeared to be tear gas in the air.

Images showed people who appeared to have lost consciousness being carried away by other fans.

World soccer's governing body FIFA specifies in its safety regulations that no firearms or "crowd control gas" should be carried or used by stewards or police.

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

Indonesia's human rights commission planned to investigate security at the ground, including the use of tear gas, its commissioner told Reuters.