33 minors among the dead in football stampede in Indonesia

The stampede in Indonesia soccer stadium that led to scores of deaths

An official confirmed on Tuesday that at least 33 minors were among those killed in a stampede at an Indonesian football stadium at the weekend.

The youngest identified so far out of the 125 people killed was a toddler about three or four years old, said Nahar, a deputy at the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection.

“This still can change because we have not received all the information from the families of the victims,’’ Nahar told dpa.

The national police earlier on Monday sacked the Malang district police chief, Ferli Hidayat, as part of an investigation into the stampede on Saturday at the Kanjuruhan Stadium.

This is among the world’s worst sports disasters.

Nine other commanding officers were suspended and under questioning on suspicion of ordering security personnel to fire tear gas inside the stadium.

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However, chaos erupted after thousands of fans invaded the pitch as hosts Arema FC lost 3-2 to rival East Java club Persebaya Surabaya.

Police fired tear gas to try to quell the pitch invaders, sending spectators scrambling to the exit gates.

The deadly stampede prompted Indonesian President Joko Widodo to order the suspension of the top-flight Liga 1 competition pending a review.

Most of the victims died of a lack of oxygen and from being trampled during the stampede, police said. More than 300 people were injured, some seriously, officials said.

The use of tear gas raised questions about whether security personnel had followed proper procedures in dealing with a crowd inside a stadium.

dpa/NAN

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