129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match
Families, fans run past a burning car in the crowd
A man lights a candle to pray for the victims of the tragedy at a soccer stadium
An Indonesian police officer stands in front of a burning car in the aftermath of a stampede, at the end of the Champions League semi-finals match between Sampo’yan and Bali United at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Central Jakarta November 24, 2012.Photo: Reuters/Kenny Yio Chow
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (Reuters) – Families, fans and at least nine people who died in a stampede at a stadium in Indonesia’s capital were prayed for as thousands sought to escape following a match on Saturday when riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at crowds.
Eyewitnesses described scenes of panic as fans and players left the pitch, with the crowd attempting to run across the field and around the corner at the top of a steep staircase where scores of police stood.
In the chaos, several fans and players were trampled by fleeing fans, including the four Sampo’yan players. The four men, who had played for the Indonesian champions at Singapore’s Singapore based club Sime Darby, died at the scene.
The four players were crushed against a car that was crushed under the crush, with fans also trampling others. A police officer was injured and a police officer was arrested.
The death toll rose to 20 when another man died in hospital in a Singapore hospital on Sunday, his family said. There have been 20 deaths so far.
The match between Sampo’yan and Bali United began in an early afternoon friendly.
“All it needs is to go back to being on a beach,” said a fan who played for a team in the United States who said he had been to Indonesia a few times for holidays.
Fans, players and police struggled as fans tried to flee from the crowds.
“It was just chaos, I was right in the middle of it,” said a man who said he was standing with his two sons, aged seven and three.
“Bali was a disaster.”
The fans from the United States,