Over 100 die in Indonesian stadium disaster

Featured image credit: Nick Agus Arya on Unsplash

At least 125 people have died following a crush during a football match at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia.

The incident occurred on Saturday evening as Arema FC faced Persebaya Surabaya. After fans invaded the pitch at the 42,000-capacity stadium, they were met with teargas from police.

The ensuing panic led to fans rushing for the stadium’s exits, which caused the crush. Witnesses have also said that police officers sprayed teargas into the stands, while supporters on the pitch were beaten with sticks and shields, the Associated Press has reported.

At least 320 people were reportedly injured after the incident. Among the 125 dead, some were reportedly children. Two police officers were also killed.

The match was a home fixture for Arema FC, and visiting supporters were banned from attending Saturday’s game due to previous trouble between both sets of fans. Arema FC fans are said to have invaded the pitch on Saturday and thrown bottles at players and officials after the game ended in a 3-2 win for Persebaya Surabaya.

Indonesia’s chief security minister Mahfud MD said today (Monday) that an investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of the disaster.

“We ask the national police to find the perpetrators who have committed crimes in the next few days,” he said, according to Channel News Asia. “We asked them to unveil who has perpetrated the crimes and that action must be taken against them and we also hope the national police will evaluate their security procedures.”

The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) has supported the investigation and has temporarily suspended the ongoing league season. Arema has also been banned from playing at home for the rest of the season