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After Indonesian football match kills 131, look back at other major football tragedies


Police fired tear gas after violence broke out at a soccer match in Indonesia as Persebaya Surabaya beat Arema Malang 3-2. The panic and rush to exit left at least 131 people dead, most of whom were trampled, police said. Here’s a rundown of other football-related crowd disasters:

April 5, 1902 — Glasgow, Scotland; 25 killed and 517 injured when the West Stand at Ibrox Park collapses during an England v Scotland international match. The game ended in a 1-1 draw but was later scratched from official records.

March 9, 1946 — Bolton, England; 33 people killed and over 400 injured when a wall collapses at Burden Park ahead of an FA Cup game between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City. The collapse crushes the fans and triggers a stampede.

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May 24, 1964 – Lima, Peru; More than 300 people were killed and 500 others injured in riots at the Estadio Nacional after Argentina beat Peru in an Olympic qualifier. Pandemonium erupts when the referee disallows a goal from Peru in the final two minutes.

Indonesian military officials work to secure Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java on October 1, 2022, after a massive riot broke out among fans killing at least 127 people.
(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

June 23, 1968 – Buenos Aires, Argentina; 74 people killed and more than 150 injured following a game between River Plate and Boca Juniors when fans trying to leave the stadium mistakenly head for a closed exit and are smashed into the gates by other fans unaware of the closed passage.

October 20, 1982 — Moscow; 66 people killed in a crowd of fans leaving a UEFA Cup match between Spartak Moscow and Dutch club Haarlem at Luzhniki Stadium.

May 29, 1985 – Brussels; 39 people killed in fan violence in the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium.

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March 12, 1988 – Kathmandu, Nepal; 93 people killed when thousands of football fans rush through locked stadium exits to escape a sudden hailstorm.

April 15, 1989 – Sheffield, England; 97 people killed and hundreds injured following a crushing of fans at the overcrowded Hillsborough stadium. One victim died in July 2021 of aspiration pneumonia, to which he had been vulnerable due to injuries from the disaster.

January 13, 1991 — Orkney, South Africa; at least 40 people killed, most trampled or crushed along the riot fences that surround the pitch, as fans panic and try to escape fights that break out in the stands.

Egyptian football fans commemorate fans who died in a 2012 riot that killed 72 people following El Masry's 3-1 win over Al Ahly.  Photo taken at Mokhtar Altitch stadium in Cairo, Egypt on February 1, 2016.

Egyptian football fans commemorate fans who died in a 2012 riot that killed 72 people following El Masry’s 3-1 win over Al Ahly. Photo taken at Mokhtar Altitch stadium in Cairo, Egypt on February 1, 2016.
(Photo by Mohamed El Raai/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

October 16, 1996 – Guatemala City; 84 people killed and 147 injured as panicked fans are crushed and choked before a World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and Costa Rica.

April 11, 2001 – Johannesburg, South Africa; At least 43 people killed in a crush during a football game at Ellis Park.

May 9, 2001 — Accra, Ghana; 126 people have been killed in a crush after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at supporters at Ohene Djan Stadium during a game between the country’s two biggest teams – Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko.

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February 1, 2012 — Port Said, Egypt; 74 people killed and more than 500 injured after a match between rivals al-Masry and al-Ahly when thousands of al-Masry supporters invaded the pitch and attacked visiting supporters. The Egyptian league was suspended for two years as a result.

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