129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match (updated)
Fans of the Indonesian team were crushed by fans of their country’s rival team in the worst soccer stampede in world history Saturday as a result of a fan dispute at the Jakarta derby match.
Dozens of fans are said to have jumped the railing to rush onto the pitch, which holds 80,000 people, to gain a better view of their team as the Indonesian team, Al-Jazira, trounced archrival India’s team, India-Merconish, to reach the final of their Asian Cup tournament.
The death toll was initially reported at 20 people killed, but later officials said it had climbed far higher. The death count is now at 38. More than 500 were injured and three, including a two-year-old toddler, were taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
An official at the stadium said in a statement that there were between 80,000 and 85,000 people in the stands at the time of the stampede. The stadium holds 80,000 and was designed with the capacity to hold at least that number.
“The stadium is designed to have 80,000 people but we had between 80,000 and 85,000 in the stands,” the official said. “At the time of the accident, there were 80,000-90,000 people in the stands.”
In the wake of the stampede, supporters of Al-Jazira said they will file a complaint against stadium operator beleza.co.id, the organizer of the stadium, for failing to provide proper security, according to a group spokesman called the Beleza Fan Army.
“We will file a complaint against beleza,” said Muhammad Saifuddin, president of the fan army. “After the death of the fan, we cannot go to their funeral because there are security problems at the stadium. We need security, especially for Al-Jazira supporters.”
“Beleza is running down the stadium and is causing people security problems that are affecting security”
Museum curator Piroj Oka said he saw the disaster unfold when he was visiting the park the day before the football match.