At least 127 people were killed in serious riots following a soccer game in the Indonesian province of East Java.
Police used tear gas to disperse the rampaging fans, Inspector General Nico Afinta said at an impromptu press conference. 34 people died on the field of Kanjuruhan Stadium, all others in hospitals, Afinta said, according to radio station Elshinta and station tvOne. He initially gave no information about the cause of the tragedy.
The riots broke out after the first division game between Arema FC and Persebaya FC. After the 3-2 defeat in Malang, thousands of spectators stormed the pitch. Photos published on the tvOne website show, among other things, a completely destroyed car in the stadium. Further pictures show the storming of the square and smoke damage on the square and in the grandstands.
"127 people died in this incident, two of whom are members of the national police," Chief Inspector Afinta was quoted as saying. According to Afinta, most people died from a lack of oxygen. According to him, around 180 people are still in clinics. The riots also damaged 13 vehicles, including ten police vehicles.
Football club takes responsibility
The Arema and Persebaya football clubs expressed their condolences to the victims and their families. "Arema FC expresses its sincere condolences for the disaster in Kanjuruhan. Arema FC's management is also responsible for dealing with the victims, both dead and injured," said club boss Abdul Haris. The club will set up a crisis center and a victim information center. "To the families of the victims, the management of Arema FC sincerely apologizes and stands ready to provide compensation. The management stands ready to accept proposals for dealing with the disaster so that many can be saved," said Haris.
The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) suspended play in the first division for a week. Arema were banned from playing home games for the remainder of the season. In addition, the association had set up an investigation team that was supposed to start work on Sunday. "PSSI regrets the actions of Aremania supporters at Kanjuruhan Stadium. We apologize and apologize to the families of the victims and to everyone involved in the incident," said federation chairman Mochamad Iriawan. The police will be assisted in the investigation.