At least 174 people have died in a stampede at an Indonesian football match, in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters late Saturday.
It happened after police tear-gassed supporters who invaded the pitch after the match.
Okay.ng has learnt that about 180 were hurt in the crush after local team, Arema FC, lost 2-3 to bitter rivals, Persebaya Surabaya, in East Java.
The country’s chief security minister said spectators exceeded the stadium’s 38,000 capacity by about 4,000 people.
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President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been concluded.
Videos trending online show fans running on to the pitch after the final whistle.
Police then fired tear gas, leading to a crowd stampede and cases of suffocation, said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java.
“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” he said, adding that two police officers were among the dead.
“We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch,” he said.
Fleeing fans “went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a build-up, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen,” he added.
More videos show fans clambering over fences to escape. Separate others appear to show lifeless bodies on the floor.
The world’s governing football body, FIFA, states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police at matches.
The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.