At least 12 people have killed in an apparent crush at an El Salvador stadium where football fans had gathered to watch a local tournament, according to the police and government officials.
During a press conference on Sunday, National Civil Police (PNC) Director Mauricio Arriaza informed reporters that the preliminary count of victims stands at 12. Nine of them found within the stadium, while information has been received regarding three additional victims treated at different hospital centers.
Initial reports from the police indicate that a crush of fans attempted to enter the stadium in San Salvador, the capital of a Central American country, to watch a match between FC Alianza and Club Deportivo FAS. According to one fan who spoke to La Prensa Grafica, there were only two open gates in the entire stadium. As a result, the crowd outside attempted to force their way in, leading to a chaotic situation.
A fan named Sandra Argueta mentioned that the incident affected children and elderly individuals, and due to the overwhelming number of people and the lack of space, the gate had to kicked down to provide some relief and ventilation.
“El Salvador’s Interior Minister Assists Incident Victims; Match Suspended”
The Interior Minister of El Salvador, Juan Carlos Bidegain, stated that the civil protection service’s first responders were present at the scene, providing assistance to those affected by the incident.
As a result of the situation, the match suspended, and emergency personnel began evacuating people from the stadium. The area filled with hundreds of police officers and soldiers, and the piercing sound of ambulance sirens filled the air.
“FIFA President Offers Condolences for El Salvador Stadium Stampede”
FIFA’s chief expressed condolences on Sunday following a devastating stampede at a stadium in El Salvador. The incident occurred during a local tournament, where football fans had gathered to watch the game. Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, offered his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims in a statement.
The Salvadoran Football Federation expressed deep regret for the events that took place at the Cuscatlan Stadium. In a tweet, they conveyed their solidarity with the affected and deceased individuals’ relatives. The organization also announced its immediate request for a report on the incident.
“Health Minister Assures Medical Care; Stampede Echoes Indonesian Tragedy”
In response to the stampede, Health Minister Francisco Alabi assured the public that the country’s hospital network was providing medical care to all the patients affected by the tragedy.
This unfortunate incident comes only seven months after a similar stampede in Malang, Indonesia. In that incident, 135 people, including more than 40 children, lost their lives following a football match.
The heart-wrenching incident serves as a stark reminder of the pressing need for improved safety measures and crowd control protocols in large-scale sporting events. The nation now mourns the loss of lives and grapples with the aftermath of a tragedy that forever stains the annals of El Salvador’s sporting history.