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Stadium disaster in Indonesia: Most of the dead were at gate 13. It was locked

2022-10-04T14:14:44.884Z

131 dead, including more than 30 children and young people: the stadium disaster shook Indonesia. The workup is about tear gas in the stands, panic and closed exits.



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Fans carry an injured person out of the stadium

Photo:

Yudha Prabowo / dpa

Three days have passed since the stadium disaster in Indonesia and more and more details are becoming public.

At least 131 people, including at least 33 children and teenagers, are said to have died at Malang's Kanjuruhan Stadium.

More than 400 people were injured, many seriously.

Most of the victims were supporters of the local Arema FC team.

The news agencies Reuters and AP have now been able to speak to numerous people on site.

Their reports speak of desperation and sadness.

"People panicked, they suffocated trying to get to the exits," says Yusuf Kurniawan, an Indonesian football commentator.

'We couldn't see anything.

Fans were screaming and we couldn't breathe," says 29-year-old viewer Ahmad Nizar Habibi

'There were bodies in the prayer room, 17 bodies if I remember correctly.

Many of my fellow campaigners cried hysterically,” says 52-year-old Fan Awang.

“I cannot put into words how sad I am at the loss of my sister.

She was a big Arema fan.

She shouldn't just die like that,” says Nur Laila, who lost her sister Hikmah.

The investigation is expected to last three weeks

Research into the cause is in full swing.

The police are interviewing witnesses and analyzing the recordings of the 32 security cameras in the stadium, cell phone recordings from the Internet and the victims are also being evaluated.

Three weeks are scheduled for the investigation.

The Indonesian soccer journalist and TV commentator Haris Pardede speaks of letters of condolence that came like a "tsunami" from all over the world.

“People here are shocked.

If one or two people die in the stadiums, that's normal in Indonesia," Parede told SPIEGEL: "Several fans died before the start of the current season, mostly because of overcrowded stadiums or poor security." According to the organization Save our Soccer (SOS) there have been around 80 deaths since 1995.

But the incident in Malang is different, says Parede.

Police used batons and sprayed tear gas after angry fans stormed the pitch and threw objects at players and club officials as they suffered their first home defeat by local rivals Persebaya in 23 years.

According to FIFA regulations, tear gas is banned in stadiums.

According to different sources, several exits of the stadium are said to have been closed.

So far, however, it is unclear who locked them and why.

Emergency medical technicians reported that most of the dead died from asphyxiation or from head injuries.

According to the Reuters news agency, most of the dead were near the locked Gate 13.

It was like a bottleneck for the fans, says Parede, who lives in Jakarta, which is 12 hours from Malang: "They fled the tear gas, but couldn't escape fast enough.

Many of the dead were women and children, including a three-and-a-half year old.

They didn't stand a chance.« Normally, the gates would be opened ten minutes before the end of the game.

4000 tickets sold too many

Some witnesses say the police also fired the tear gas into the stands, others say it went up there.

According to Paredes, too, the tear gas is said to have been shot at the stands.

»The Malang disaster is due to the police.«

But there are said to have been other factors that triggered the disaster.

The stadium was overcrowded, according to the authorities, 4,000 more tickets were sold than spectators are allowed in the stadium.

After the riots in the stadium, there was also unrest outside.

Indonesian Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud said possible law violations in the disaster were being investigated and would make recommendations to the President to improve football's security situation.

There are now first consequences:

  • Police chief Ferli Hidayat and nine elite officers have been suspended for the duration of the investigation, and 18 police officers are being investigated for using tear gas.

  • Two officials from club Arema FC have been banned for life by the Indonesian Football Association.

    The club was fined 250 million rupees (around US$16,400).

  • The Indonesian league has been suspended for the time being on the instructions of President Joko Widodo.

    It is expected that it will only proceed after the investigations have been completed.

  • Arema FC is no longer allowed to play home games for the rest of the season.

    Employees of the world association Fifa and the Asian football association AFC want to travel to Indonesia for investigations.

  • Uefa will hold a minute's silence at the international games during the week (Champions, Europa, Conference League).

Thousands of people, including Arema FC players, laid flowers and lit candles in mourning outside the stadium on Monday.

The families of the victims are said to receive 50 million rupees (US$3,300) each.

The club's president, Gilang Widya Pramana, expressed his deep dismay at a press conference.

You're in shock.

He apologized to the victims and announced that he would take full responsibility.

"I am ready to provide help even if it will not be able to give the victims their lives back," he said.

The hope now is that the incident will bring about changes in terms of safety in football.

"The punishments are only painkillers, they only work for a short time," says football journalist Parede: "For a real change, the incident must be carefully examined and evaluated."

With material from Reuters, AP and dpa

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-10-04

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