West News Wire: According to the police and government officials, at least 12 persons were killed in an apparent crush at a stadium in El Salvador where football enthusiasts had congregated to watch a local tournament.
Mauricio Arriaza, director of the National Civil Police (PNC), told reporters on Sunday, “Preliminarily, we have a negative result of 12 casualties, nine of them are here in the stadium and three more of whom we have been informed are at other hospital centres.
“Salvadoran football is in mourning,” Arriaza declared.
Initial reports, according to the police, indicate that there was a throng of spectators attempting to enter the stadium in San Salvador, the capital of the Central American nation, to see a match between FC Alianza and Club Deportivo FAS.
“There were only two gates open in the whole stadium,” one fan told La Prensa Grafica. “The people outside wanted to force their way in, and they all fell on us.”
Another fan, Sandra Argueta, said children and elderly people were affected and the gate had to be kicked down “to get some air because there were a lot of people and we were suffocating”.
Juan Carlos Bidegain, El Salvador’s interior minister, reported that first responders from the civil protection service were on the site helping those hurt by the incident.
Emergency services evacuated spectators from the stadium as ambulance sirens wailed and hundreds of police officers and troops were there to watch the game.
Following a “tragic” stampede that left 12 people dead at a stadium in El Salvador where football fans had congregated to watch a local competition, FIFA’s president sent his sympathies.
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, issued a statement expressing his sympathies to the families and friends of the victims who passed away as a result of the unfortunate events that occurred in El Salvador.
In a statement on Twitter, the Salvadoran Football Federation said it “deeply regrets” the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium.
The tweet added that the organisation would immediately request a report on the occurrence and “it also expresses solidarity with the relatives of those affected and deceased in this incident.”
Following the stampede, the nation’s hospital system is “providing medical care to all patients,” according to Health Minister Francisco Alabi.
The catastrophe occurred seven months to the day after a stampede in Malang, Indonesia, which claimed the lives of 135 people, including more than 40 children.