Officials said that a stampede at a football stadium in El Salvador on Saturday night claimed at least 12 lives.
A rush broke out in the general sitting section of the quarterfinal match between Alianza FC and Club Deportivo FAS when fans were gathered at Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador, according to local media. The death toll was initially listed as nine, but subsequently local media updated the number to 12.
The stampede, according to stadium officials, began as football fans of the highly regarded clubs attempted to enter the building.
“It was an avalanche of fans who overran the gate. Some were still under the metal in the tunnel. Others managed to make it to the stands and then to the field and were smothered,” an unnamed volunteer with the nation’s Rescue Commandos first aid group reportedly told the El Mundo publication.
According to CNN, 90 people, some of whom were youngsters, required medical attention for injuries.
The National Civil Police’s Mauricio Arriaza claimed that “between 400 and 500 people gathered [at the stadium]” and that the “eagerness to see the game” caused the stampede.
Two of the most well-liked football teams in the nation of Central America are Alianza FC and FAS. The night of the rush, the stadium was holding a quarterfinal game between the two well-liked teams in El Salvador’s top league.
In the wake of the stampede, the Salvadoran Football Federation has scheduled a meeting with the Security Commission of Sports Venues for today.
It also expressed sympathy to the impacted parties.
🚨🚨COMUNICADO 🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/rLS2sjy4vO
— FESFUT (@fesfut_sv) May 21, 2023
“The Salvadoran Football Federation deeply regrets the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium,” the organization wrote on Twitter. “It also expresses solidarity with the relatives of those affected and deceased in this incident.”
Francisco Alabi, the minister of health for El Salvador, announced on Twitter that emergency crews had been called in and that the injured were being taken to nearby hospitals.
The fans outside the Cuscatlan stadium in El Salvador, according to a tweet from Mundo en Conflicto, are “delaying the transfer of the injured” and “hindering the work of the ambulances by covering the exits.”
Nayib Bukele, the president of the country, promised citizens in a statement that a “thorough investigation” into the fatal stampede will be conducted as a result of the disaster.
— Secretaría de Prensa de la Presidencia (@SecPrensaSV) May 21, 2023
The president said on Twitter that “the @PNCSV and @FGR_SV will carry out an exhaustive investigation of the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium.” “Everyone will be investigated: teams, managers, stadium, box office, league, federation, etc. Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished.”
Whether or not the match’s tickets were oversold will be one of the things that is investigated.
On Saturday night, Mr. Arriaza declared that the Attorney General’s Office [FGR] and he would begin a “criminal investigation” into the unfortunate incidents.