At least 174 people have died and hundreds more were injured after a stampede broke out at a football match in Indonesia, becoming one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

Rival clubs Arema and Persebaya Surabaya squared off as the latter won 3-2 in Malang Regency, East Java.

Authorities fired tear gas when fans from the losing side started invading the pitch.

That panic resulted in thousands heading towards the exits at Stadion Kanjuruhan, where many suffocated in a crowd crush

“In the incident, 127 people died, two of whom are police officers. Thirty-four people died inside the stadium and the rest died in hospital,”  East Java police chief Nico Afinta said on Sunday.

“They went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a buildup, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen.”

Confirmed deaths are expected to rise as investigations begin.

“We’re sorry for this incident…this is a regrettable incident that ‘injures’ our football at a time when supporters can watch football matches from the stadium,” Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali added.

“We will thoroughly evaluate the organisation of the match and the attendance of supporters. Will we return to banning supporters from attending the matches? That is what we will discuss.”

Indonesia’s chief security minister Mahfud MD said the stadium was beyond capacity, with 42,000 tickets issued for a ground which holds 38,000 people.

Liga 1 is Indonesia has now been suspended this week as a result of the disaster, while Arema will not host any more games for the rest of the campaign.


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