Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Stadium gates too small to survive deadly football stampede, say Indonesian police. CBC Sports

Police investigators said on Tuesday that the gate of the Indonesian football stadium where police fired tear gas, causing a fatal crush, was too small and could only accommodate two at a time when hundreds of people tried to escape. Were.

Photos of the Malang stadium where 125 people were killed, and hundreds injured in one of the deadliest disasters during sporting events on Saturday night, show four connecting door panels forming a gate. There were 14 gates in total.

Police said the investigation focused on video recordings from surveillance cameras at six of the 14 gates where most of the victims had died. Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the gates were unlocked but were only able to accommodate two people.

“For those six gates, they weren’t closed, but they were very small. They had a capacity of two people, but hundreds of people were coming out. There was a crush,” Prasetyo told reporters. He said the gates were the responsibility of the organisers.

Most of the deaths occurred when riot police fired tear gas shells and a crush of fans ran a panicked, chaotic rush to the exit. Police took action when some of the 42,000 Arema FC fans ran into anger on the pitch after their team lost 3–2, the first defeat at home against Tour of Persebaya Surabaya in 23 years.

On Monday, police announced that they had removed a police chief and nine elite officers, and 18 others were being investigated for responsibility for firing tear gas shells inside the stadium.

look | Indonesian police facing questions after stadium stampede:

More than 120 killed in stampede at Indonesia’s football stadium

Police in Indonesia are facing questions about their strategy after tear gas shells were fired inside a football stadium in Indonesia, sparking a stampede that killed more than 120 people and injured hundreds of others.

Contrary to the police account, some survivors said that some exit doors were closed and they were unable to escape. Most of them specifically mentioned Gate 13.

We wanted to run but the gate was closed. That’s why most people died.– Prasetyo Pujiono, a Malang farmer watching the match near Gate 13

As per the recommendations of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation, exits to stadiums should always be unlocked during games for security purposes. Those rules do not necessarily apply to domestic or national leagues, but are nevertheless a safety standard, as is the recommendation against the use of tear gas as a crowd-control measure.

“People tried to save themselves after the tear gas was released. My group got separated from each other,” said 32-year-old farmer Prasetyo Puziono from Malang, who watched the match with friends near Gate 13.

People stormed the pitch during a football match at Kanjuruhan Stadium on Saturday. (War Prabovo/Associated Press)

the fan broke through the wall

“People could no longer stay inside the stadium. We wanted to escape but the gate was closed. So most people died because they were crushed or suffocated,” he said. “I remember them screaming they couldn’t breathe, and their eyes hurt.”

Those trying to escape eventually broke through the wall next to Gate 13, leaving behind a large hole that read: “Goodbye my brothers and sisters. 01-10-2022”

Hundreds of Arema supporters and residents have been paying tribute to the victims at Gates 13 and 12 since Monday. They prayed together, dropped rose petals, bouquets of flowers and placed several arema scarves around the gate.

Pujianto said he pulled out more than 20 bodies that were scattered around Gate 13.

“Poor them. There were so many bodies scattered at Gate 13. We couldn’t get out if we didn’t take them. So, my friends and I took them to the field,” he said.

The 26-year-old Arema supporter, Evita Trivardhani, said she used to attend every match, with the organizers usually opening the gates 15 to 20 minutes before the end of the game. But that Saturday night, he said that Gate 13 was closed. He saved himself by running out of the stadium through Gate 14, which he said was open.

She said she saw people crying and gasping for air amid clouds of tear gas, and parents holding their babies above their shoulders so they could breathe. At least 17 children were among the dead.

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