MALANG, KOMPAS.com - At least 129 people died at a football stadium in Indonesia when thousands of fans invaded the pitch and police fired tear gas that triggered a stampede, authorities said Sunday, Oct. 2.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday ordered a safety review of the country's football matches.
The country's sports and youth minister, national police chief and Indonesian football association chief were ordered "to conduct a thorough evaluation of football matches and the security procedures", Widodo said in a televised statement.
The tragedy on Saturday night in the eastern city of Malang, which also left 180 injured, was one of the world's deadliest sporting stadium disasters.
Arema FC supporters at the Kanjuruhan stadium stormed the pitch late on Saturday after their team lost 3-2 to the visiting team and bitter rivals, Persebaya Surabaya.
Police, who described the unrest as "riots", said they tried to persuade fans to return to the stands and fired tear gas after two officers were killed.
Many of the victims were trampled or choked to death, according to police.
East Java police chief Nico Afinta said a total of 127 people had died, but the toll was later raised to 129.
A hospital director told local TV that one of the victims was five years old.
Images taken from inside the stadium during the stampede showed police firing huge amounts of tear gas and people clambering over fences.
People were carrying injured spectators through the chaos.
Video footage circulating on social media showed people shouting obscenities at police, who were holding riot shields and wielding batons.
The stadium holds 42,000 people and authorities said it was a sell-out, Police said 3,000 people stormed the pitch.
"We would like to convey that... not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch," Afinta said.