Eswatini Daily News

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – At least 12 people died and an unspecified number were injured in a stampede at a soccer stadium in El Salvador on Saturday, the Central American country’s government said.

Alianza FC and Club Deportivo FAS were playing the second leg of their playoff quarter-final game at the Cuscatlan stadium in San Salvador, the country’s capital, when play was suspended after a stampede broke out in the general section.

The venue is one of the largest stadiums in Central America and has an official capacity of more than 44,000 fans.

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“The Salvadoran Football Federation deeply regrets the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium,” the organization wrote on Twitter.

A medical team arrives following a stampede prior to a soccer game between C.D. FAS Vs. Alianza F.C. at the Cuzcatlan stadium, in San Salvador, El Salvador. REUTERS/ Jose Cabezas

“It also expresses solidarity with the relatives of those affected and deceased in this incident.”

The federation added that they would immediately request a report on the incident while also suspending the tournament after Saturday’s events, calling for a meeting with the Security Commission of Sports Venues on Sunday.

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El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said the National Civil Police and the Attorney General’s Office would conduct a “thorough investigation” into the events at the stadium.

A fan is attended to in an ambulance following a stampede prior to a soccer game between C.D. FAS Vs. Alianza F.C. at the Cuzcatlan stadium, in San Salvador, El Salvador. REUTERS/ Jose Cabezas

“Everyone will be investigated: teams, managers, stadium, box office, league, federation, etc. Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished,” Bukele wrote on Twitter.

The incident comes after a deadly stampede last year killed 135 spectators at a stadium in Indonesia’s East Java in October. Many were crushed as they fled for exits after police fired tear gas into the crowd.

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