At least 125 persons have been killed and dozens more were injured in a stampede after violence erupted inside a football stadium in Indonesia on Saturday, the BBC reported.
The toll had been revised to 125 from 174 after the authorities found some of the victims were counted twice.
Supporters of two football clubs – Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya – clashed after the former was defeated during a match at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang Regency in East Java.
East Java’s Police Chief Nico Afinta said that supporters from the losing side entered the ground following which officials fired tear gas. This caused panic and a crowd ran towards an exit gate, he said.
“There was a pile-up,” Afinta said, according to The New York Times. “The buildup process resulted in shortness of breath and lack of oxygen.”
According to the police, 34 persons were killed inside the stadium, while others died during treatment in hospitals. Two police officers were among the dead.
Videos shared on social media showed supporters, dressed in red and blue, storming the field and clashing with Indonesian security forces as clouds of tear gas formed. Several police vehicles were also damaged.
Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said the number of spectators exceeded the capacity of the Kanjuruhan stadium, Reuters reported.
He said in an Instagram post on Sunday that 42,000 tickets were sold for a stadium that had a capacity to hold 38,000 persons.
The Indonesian Football Association said it has suspended matches for the coming week and banned Arema FC from hosting games for the rest of the season, CNN reported.
The president of Fifa, the world’s governing football body, said it was a “dark day for all involved” in the game. “The football world is in a state of shock following the tragic incidents that have taken place in Indonesia,” Gianni Infantino added.
In Indonesia, rivalry among supporters of football clubs has often resulted in violence. Flares are often thrown on the field, and riot police are a regular presence at many matches, according to The New York Times.
After Saturday’s incident, Indonesia Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said that the government would re-evaluate safety norms during football matches, including considering not allowing spectators in stadiums, according to Reuters.