At least 12 dead in stamped at El Salvador soccer stadium

At least 12 people were killed and 100 more were injured in a stampede on Saturday after fans pushed through a stadium access gate at a quarterfinal match in the Salvadoran league. The match was between Alianza and FAS at Cuscatlán Stadium, about 25 miles northeast of the capital of El Salvador. 

The National Civil Police said around 100 people were transported to hospital, some in serious condition, according to the Associated Press.

In a preliminary report via Twitter, nine people were confirmed dead. An update was issued on Sunday that four more people died in the incident. Carlos Fuentes, spokesman for the first aid group Rescue Commandos, also confirmed the initial deaths, seven men and two women. Fuentes said that the group attended to more than 500 people.

President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele said via a translated tweet, “The [National Police] and the [Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of El Salvador] will carry out an exhaustive investigation of the events that occurred in the Cuscatlán Stadium. Everyone will be investigated: teams, managers, stadium, ticket office, league, federation, etc. Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished.”

The Central American Football Union released a statement on Sunday, saying the organization was “shocked and saddened” by what happened at the Stadium. 

Play was suspended about 16 minutes into the match, when fans in the stands waving frantically began getting the attention of those on the field and carrying the injured out of a tunnel and down onto the field.

Local television transmitted live images of the aftermath of the stampede, which appeared to mainly involve Alianza fans. 

The director of the National Civil Protection System of El Salvador, Luis Alonso Amaya said, “a human stampede broke out due to the overselling of tickets, which has left 500 people affected.”

“Our prayers and affection go to all the families, friends and all the people who were affected by the irreparable loss of their loved ones,” the Central America Football Union statement read, via Google translation. “The safety of all the people who attend the matches is of the utmost importance in order to guarantee the spectacle and their peace of mind.”

Matches for Sunday have been suspended and officials have scheduled a meeting to address the stampede.


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