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BREAKING INDONESIA: At least 125 people killed, 300 injured after stampede at football match

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#AceBreakingNews – At least 125 people have been killed and over 300 injured following a soccer match in Indonesia as panicked fans were trampled and crushed trying to flee a riot in what appears to be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

Play Video. Duration: 50 seconds
Police fired tear gas to try to disperse fans who had run onto the pitch.

The death toll was revised down from an earlier count of 174 by East Java Deputy Governor Emil Dardak, after authorities checked data on the number of fatalities across 10 hospitals………..At least two police officers were among he dead, he said.

Video footage from local news channels showed fans streaming onto the pitch in the stadium in Malang after the Indonesian Premier League game ended, with Persebaya Surabaya defeating Arema Malang 3-2.

Disappointed with the loss, thousands of supporters threw bottles and other objects at players and officials before storming the pitch. 

In response authorities fired tear gas, leading to a crowd stampede and to cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters.

Hundreds of people reportedly ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and others were trampled.

Plain-clothed officers stand near the wreckage of police vehicle.
Plain-clothed officers stand near the wreckage of police vehicles damaged during the clashes.(AP: Yudha Prabowo)none

More than 300 people were rushed to nearby hospitals to treat injuries, but many died on the way or during treatment, Mr Afinta said.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries, and that the dead included a five-year-old child.

Footage posted on social media showed a crowd of spectators rush onto the field. Moments later, police with shields and batons ran onto the field towards the crowd.

Police could be seen kicking and beating people with batons as they attempted to run from the field.Police fired tear gas after clashes broke out.(AP: Yudha Prabowo)none

Tear gas then fills the air on the field and in the stadium. Images show people who appear to have lost consciousness being carried away by other fans.

The footage, posted by multiple local news outlets showing the scene from various angles, could not be immediately verified by the ABC.

Investigating safety concerns

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said authorities must thoroughly evaluate security at matches, adding that he hoped this would be “the last soccer tragedy in the nation”.

Mr Widodo ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the Indonesian top league BRI Liga 1 until an investigation had been completed.

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

The country’s chief security minister Mahfud MD said in an Instagram post that the stadium had been filled beyond its capacity. He said 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium that is only supposed to hold 38,000 people.

Financial aid would be given to the injured and the families of victims, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa told reporters.

There have been outbreaks of trouble at matches in Indonesia before, with strong rivalries between clubs sometimes leading to violence among fans.

Persebaya fans had been banned from the match, a restriction imposed after clashes between supporters of the two rival teams in February 2020 resulted in damages totalling over $25,000. 

Despite Indonesia’s lack of international accolades in the sport, hooliganism is rife in the soccer-obsessed country where fanaticism often ends in violence, as in the 2018 death of a Persija Jakarta supporter who was killed by a mob of hardcore fans of rival club Persib Bandung in 2018.Police cordoned off the area outside Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, where torched vehicles could be seen in the aftermath of the riot.(AFP: PUTRI)none

ABC/wires

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Oct.02: 2022:

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