Stampede at football stadium in El Salvador kills 12

SAN SALVADOR – A stampede by fans at a Salvadoran league quarter-final soccer match left 12 dead and dozens injured, officials said Sunday.

The crash happened when football fans walked through one of the gates during Saturday’s match between Alianza and FAS at the Monumental stadium in Cuscatlan, located about 41 kilometers northeast of the capital, officials said. Salvador football officials.

“El Salvador is in mourning,” said a statement from Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s press office, which confirmed that at least 12 people had died.

Civil Protection Director Luis Amaya said around 500 people had been treated and around 100 had been taken to hospitals. At least two of the injured taken to hospitals were in critical condition.

“Twelve people lost their lives and I would just like to express, of course, my condolences to all the Salvadoran people for this tragic incident,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a speech at a meeting on Sunday. of the World Health Organization in Geneva.

Play was suspended about 16 minutes into the game when frantically waving fans in the stands began to draw the attention of those on the pitch and carry the injured out of a tunnel and onto the pitch.

Local television transmitted live footage of the aftermath of the stampede by Alianza fans. Dozens of people arrived on the ground where they received medical treatment. Fans who escaped the crush stood on the field, furiously waving shirts, trying to survey the people lying on the grass who were barely moving.

Pedro Hernández, president of El Salvador’s first football division, said preliminary information he had was that the stampede happened because fans managed to break through a gate in the stadium.

“It was an avalanche of fans who flooded the gate. Some were still under the metal in the tunnel. Others managed to get to the stands and then onto the pitch and were suffocated,” a reporter told reporters. unidentified volunteer from the Rescue Commandos first aid group.

National Civil Police commissioner Mauricio Arriza Chicas, at the scene of the tragedy, said there would be a criminal investigation in conjunction with the Attorney General’s office.

“We will investigate from ticket sales, entrances to the stadium, but especially from the southern zone”, where, he specified, the portal was pushed.

The Salvadoran Football Federation said in a statement that it regretted what had happened and expressed its support for the families of the victims.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Leave a Comment