The death toll from an Indonesian football riot that turned into a stampede was revised down to 125 on Sunday due to double counting, an official told local media, IgbereTV reports
“Today the death toll is 125. 124 have been identified and one has not. Some names were recorded twice because they had been referred to another hospital and were written down again,” East Java deputy governor Emil Dardak told broadcaster Metro TV, citing data collected by local police from 10 hospitals.
The tragedy on Saturday night in the 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 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 force 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.
At least 125 people died, East Java deputy governor Emil Dardak told broadcaster Metro TV on Sunday evening, significantly lowering officials’ earlier death toll of 174 because of double counting.
“124 have been identified and one has not. Some names were recorded twice because they had been referred to another hospital and were written down again,” he said, citing data collected by local police from 10 hospitals.
Survivors described panicking spectators in a packed crowd as tear gas rained down on them.
“Officers fired tear gas, and automatically people were rushing to come out, pushing each other and it caused many victims,” 43-year-old spectator Doni, who declined to give his last name, told AFP.
“Nothing was happening, there was no riot. I don’t know what the issue was, they suddenly fired tear gas. That’s what shocked me, didn’t they think about kids, women?”
President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation into the tragedy, a safety review into all football matches and directed the country’s football association to suspend all matches until “security improvements” were completed