A devastating crush at a football stadium in the capital city of El Salvador, San Salvador, has resulted in the deaths of at least twelve people, according to officials.
The incident occurred during a match between local team Alianza and Santa Ana-based team Fas at Cuscatlán Stadium. The game was immediately suspended as the gravity of the situation unfolded.
President Nayib Bukele referred to the event as “unprecedented” and pledged to launch a thorough investigation into the tragedy.
Authorities have reported that the victims, all aged 18 and above, include seven men and two women. It is believed that the crush occurred when a large number of fans attempted to enter the venue after the gates had already been closed.
Officials suspect that fake tickets may have been sold, prompting the investigation into the incident. Disturbing footage shared by local media showed fans trying to dismantle barricades at the stadium’s entrance.
During a live stream of the match on YouTube, the commotion in the stands became apparent, leading to the suspension of the game. Emergency services were seen carrying injured individuals on stretchers, while fans tried to provide relief by waving their shirts to cool them down.
A volunteer from the Rescue Commandos first aid group described the chaotic scene, stating, “It was an avalanche of fans who overran the gate. Some were still trapped under the metal in the tunnel. Others managed to reach the stands and then the field, where they were overwhelmed.”
President Bukele has pledged that a thorough investigation will be conducted, including an examination of the teams, managers, stadium officials, the league, and the federation. He assured the public that those responsible would face consequences for their actions.
Medical attention has been provided to approximately 90 people, including men, women, and children, who suffered from various injuries. The Salvadoran Soccer Federation announced the suspension of all national-level football matches on Sunday and expressed its condolences to the victims’ families.
Health Minister Francisco Alabi stated that most of the injured individuals are in stable condition, with no reported fatalities from hospitals at this time. Ambulances from nearby hospitals were swiftly deployed to transport the injured to different medical facilities for treatment.
Minister Alabi urged the public to evacuate the area cautiously, allowing medical teams to carry out their duties effectively. The nation mourns the loss of lives in this tragic incident, and efforts are underway to support the affected individuals and their families.