More than 150 people are dead in Indonesia after a riot broke out at a soccer match in Malang on the evening of Saturday Oct. 1.
The unrest happened after the Arema football club lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surbaya, prompting fans to rush onto the field at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Arema’s home.
Many people were then trampled when police fired tear gas at the tightly packed crowds, local officials said.
The country’s chief security minister said the stadium had been over its 38,000 capacity, as the local football committee had printed 42,000 tickets.
Almost 34 people were killed instantly when hundreds of people ran to one exit gate to try to escape the tear gas, with some suffocating and others being trampled, according to the New York Times.
At least 180 other people were injured, police said.
FIFA, the world’s governing body for soccer, prohibits the use of tear gas for crowd control at matches.
But police defended their use of tear gas, saying it had been deployed because “a riot happened.”
“It had gotten anarchic. They [the fans] started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” East Java’s police chief said, according to CNN.
The death toll makes it one of the deadliest stadium disasters in history, after a match in Peru in 1964 when at least 300 people died in a stampede following an unpopular decision by a referee in the Peru-Argentina Olympic qualifier in Lima.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo called for a thorough investigation into what had happened.
“I regret that this tragedy occurred,” he said in a televised speech. “And I hope this is the last football tragedy in the country.”
The soccer league has suspended play for at least a week.
Soccer violence is common in Indonesia, where rivalries between major teams have led to dozens of fans being killed since the 1990s, according to the New York Times.