129 dead in Indonesia football stampede (+VIDEO)

TEHRAN, Oct. 02 (MNA) – Indonesian police say at least 129 people have been killed and dozens injured in a stampede during a riot at a football match in the province of East Java.

In a statement on Sunday, police said supporters of Arema FC stormed the pitch at a stadium in the eastern city of Malang after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday night, Aljazeera reported.

Police said they tried to persuade fans to return to the stands and fired tear gas to control “riots” after two officers were killed. Hundreds of fans then ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and many were trampled to death.

“Thirty-four people died inside the stadium and the rest died in hospital,” said East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta.

The death toll is likely still increasing, he said, since many of about 180 injured victims’ conditions were deteriorating.

A hospital director told local television that one of the victims was five years old.

Video footage from local news channels showed fans streaming onto the pitch in the Kanjurujan Stadium in Malang after Arema FC lost to Persebaya Surabaya. Scuffles can be seen, with what appeared to be tear gas in the air. Images also showed people who appeared to have lost consciousness being carried away by other fans.

The stadium holds 42,000 people and authorities said it was a sell-out. Police said about 3,000 people had stormed the pitch. Vehicles outside the stadium were also torched, including a police truck.

RHM/PR

News Code 191983

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