With videoAt least 125 people killed in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters include 32 children, an official said. There is also a chance that the number of child victims will increase further. It is further mounting pressure for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disaster, national media reported.
The smaller victims were between 3 and 17 years old. Earlier this morning there was still talk of 17 children who had died in the disaster. “We could never have imagined it would end like this,” said Endah Wahyuni, who lost two brothers, Ahmad Cahyo (15) and Muhammad Farel (14) in the disaster. “They loved football very much but had never been to a stadium before, it was their very first time.”
The brothers were among 17 dead children who were trampled or trampled when riots broke out at the stadium after a match between Arema FC of Malang and Persebaya Surabaya of Surabaya. After the club from Malang lost 2-3, thousands of supporters from both teams stormed the field. Police were forced to use tear gas, after which fans panicked and tried to leave the stadium.
Dozens of people died on the track, the police said. The others later died in hospitals. Most would have died from lack of oxygen. In addition to the dead, at least 323 people were also injured. Seven children are still being treated in hospitals. The death toll may therefore rise further.
Police chief fired, 9 officers suspended
Malang’s police chief has been fired. Nine other officers have been suspended. “On instructions from the national police chief, the East Java police chief has suspended nine officers. All are under investigation, says the spokesman. A total of 28 officers were questioned on suspicion of ‘ethical violations’.
Indonesia’s security minister vowed today to assemble an independent investigative team to find out what happened and help find the instigators of the riots. He also called on the police to identify and punish those responsible for the unrest. He also said he hoped police would reconsider their own “security procedures”.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has meanwhile promised to donate 50 million rupiah (more than 3300 euros) as compensation to all the relatives of the dead. According to the Indonesian security minister, the amount will be paid to the families within two days.
The Indonesian daily Koran Tempo printed a black front page on Monday with red letters: ‘Our football tragedy’ and a list of names of the dead. The incident was a “black day for all involved”, according to world football governing body FIFA, which has requested an investigation report from Indonesian football association PSSI. Police and sports officials have traveled to the city of Malang to conduct the investigation, security chief Mahfud MD announced today.
“All involved must be held accountable for this disaster, regardless of their status or position,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch. The Indonesian Football Association is carrying out their own investigation, because then there is a chance that things will be swept under the carpet.”
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