UPDATE: Tuesday, October 4 at 00:40am
Harrowing video footage has surfaced on social media showing that some of the exits from the Kanjuruhan football Stadium in the East Javan city of Malang had in fact been locked by stewards.
The latest report suggests that at least 32 children were among the estimated 125 who perished in the stampedes that broke out after security forces fired tear gas into the crowd, according to news.sky.com.
UPDATE 9.12 am (October 2) – In what is being dubbed one of the world’s worst stadium disasters, at least 174 people have reportedly died during riots at a football match in Indonesia.
The rise in the death toll following the tragedy was reported by East Java’s deputy governor Emil Dardak, according to Reuters.
ORIGINAL 1.22 am (October 2) – Riots at a football match in Indonesia have left at least 120 fans dead and around another 180 injured.
At least 128 people are thought to have died this evening, Saturday, October 1, at a football match in Indonesia. It is believed that fans attending a big derby match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya were cornered by riot police who fired tear gas at them after fighting broke out.
With no escape route available the deceased are thought to have died through a lack of oxygen due to the gas. The fans died on the football field during a pitch invasion in the Kanjuruhan Stadium in the East Javan city of Malang. A large number of fans were also transferred to the Wava Husada and Kanjuruhan Hospitals located near the stadium.
“We are concerned and deeply regret this incident. We share our condolences and hopefully, this will be a valuable lesson for all of us”, said an official statement from the president of PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB), Akhmad Hadian Lukita.
Lukita also confirmed that his party decided that the BRI Liga 1 2022/2023 competition will be suspended for a week. “We announced the decision after we received directions from the PSSI General Chair. We do this out of respect and while waiting for the investigation process from PSSI”. he explained.
The Indonesian FA also confirmed that Arema will not be allowed to host any more home matches for the rest of the season.
“Persebaya’s extended family deeply mourns the loss of life after the Arema FC vs Persebaya match. No single life is worth football. We pray for the victims and may the families left behind be given strength”, read a message on Persebaya’s Twitter profile.
A hotly-contested East-Java derby was won 3-2 by the visitors Persebaya Surabaya. This promoted a massive pitch invasion by the home fans. While the Persebaya players were escorted from the field, local police officers assisted by members of the Indonesian National Armed Forces moved in to control the situation.
According to suryamalang.tribunnews.com fighting subsequently broke out between the security forces and the football fans which resulted in the deployment of tear gas. It was also fired at the stands which caused supporters to try and escape, with many allegedly trampled to death in the ensuing chaos. There are believed to be deaths registered among the security personnel also.
Another Indonesian outlet bola.kompas.com reported that players from Arema FC who had remained on the pitch after the tear gas was fired, were seen being carried unconscious from the field.
A tweet from the PSSI said: “My deepest condolences for the incident that happened to football lovers in the country at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang. May the deceased and the addressee find the best place by His side and the bereaved family can be given fortitude”.
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