One of professional sports’ deadliest stadium tragedies occurred late on Saturday as at least 174 people were killed and many more injured in a stampede in Malang, Indonesia.
Arema FC slumped to a 3-2 defeat against rivals, prompting their fans to storm the pitch in the East Java province. The police retaliated by use of tear gas, which led to one of modern football’s worst stampedes.
Here’s a look at some of the other biggest football stadium disasters:
1. The Luzhniki disaster (Russia, 1982)
During a UEFA Cup match between Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem in 1982 at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, several fans were crushed in the stadium in a crowd collapse. After a woman stopped to check for a lost shoe in the stands, those helping her were crushed by a dense crowd, with many stumbling over the bodies on their way out too.
The official death toll reported at the time was 66, but Russian authorities have been accused of a cover up, with reports suggesting the death total was as high as 340.
2. Stampede at Accra stadium (Ghana, 2001)
Asante Kotoko fans, in reaction to watching their team lose Hearts of Oak 2-1 just after halftime, began to break and throw chairs and tables onto the pitch. The police responded with tear gas, prompting the fans to attempt to charge out of the 50,000-odd capacity stadium.
It resulted in one of the world’s worst sports stadium disasters, killing 126 people in a stampede. Many of the dead were either crushed to death or suffocated.
3. Hillsborough disaster (England, 1989)
In an FA Cup semifinal tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in 1989, 96 of the Merseyside team’s fans were crushed to death as one of the stands collapsed.
The Police commissioner at the time opened Gate C of the central standing pens of one of the stands to prevent overcrowding, but one too many entered, crushing the stadium and killing more people than any other tragedy in British sports.
4. Dasharath Stadium crush (Nepal 1988)
During a football match between the Janakpur Cigarette Factory and Bangalesh’s Liberation Army, a total of 93 people lost their lives in a crush that took place as a result of a storm.
A hailstorm – typical to Nepal’s climate in March – broke out during the match and caused large-scale panic, with fans flocking to the only cover in the stadium. This was met with resistance by the police, which caused fans to move to an exit via a tunnel entrance, where the overcrowding caused a massive crush.
5. Oversold tickets cause a stampede at WC Qualifier (Guatemala, 1996)
During a World Cup qualifying match between Costa Rica and Guatemala in 1996 in Guatemala City, at least 83 people were killed in a stampede in an overcrowded stadium.
After the venue, the Mateo Flores National Stadium in the country’s capital, oversold tickets, fans who were not allowed into the stadium stormed the entrance, causing a massive stampede in the overcrowded entrance tunnel. Fans were either trampled or suffocated to death.