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UPDATE: Death toll in Indonesian stadium disaster passes 170

 

At least 174 people have died in a stampede at an Indonesian football match, in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

It happened after police tear-gassed supporters who invaded the pitch late on Saturday, reports the BBC.

About 180 were hurt in the crush after local team Arema FC lost 2-3 to bitter rivals Persebaya Surabaya in East Java.

The country’s chief security minister said spectators exceeded the stadium’s 38,000 capacity by abound 4,000 people.

President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been concluded.

Videos show fans running on to the pitch after the final whistle.

Police then fired tear gas, leading to a crowd stampede and cases of suffocation, said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java.

“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” he said, adding that two police officers were among the dead.

“We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch,” he said.

Fleeing fans “went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a build-up, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen”, he added.

Videos on social media show fans clambering over fences to escape. Separate videos appear to show lifeless bodies on the floor.

 

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