East Java Regional Police Chief Inspector General Nico Afinta gives a press statement at the Malang Resort Police, Malang District, East Java, Sunday (Oct. 2, 2022). (ANTARA/Vicki Febrianto)

As many as 129 people were killed and some 180 others injured in a stampede after a football match at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang District, East Java Province, on Saturday evening.

East Java Regional Police Chief Inspector General of Police Nico Afinta at a press conference here on Sunday, said two of the casualties were police officers.

“In that incident, 127 people have died. Two of them are members of the police,” Afinta said.

Later, the East Java authorities updated that the number of deaths increased to 129.

Afinta said out of the 127 people, 34 of them reportedly died at the stadium. The rest died while receiving treatment at several local hospitals.

He said until now, around 180 people were still undergoing treatment at the hospitals.

In addition to the victims who died, there were also 13 vehicles that were damaged, 10 of which were police vehicles.

“There are still 180 people who are still being treated. Of the 40 thousand spectators, not all of them are anarchists. Only some, or around 3,000 spectators, took to the field,” Afinta added.

He said the match at the Kanjuruhan Stadium actually went smoothly. However, after the game ended, several Arema FC supporters felt disappointed after Arema FC of Malang lost 3-2 to Persebaya of Surabaya, and so some of the Arema supporters stormed the pitch to look for players and officials.

The defeat was the first for Arema FC in the last 23 years.

The security officers made preventive efforts by making diversions so that the supporters did not go down to the field and chase players. However, officers were eventually forced to fire tear gas, Afinta said.

He said the tear gas shooting was carried out because the disgruntled supporters of the Arema team had carried out anarchic actions and endangered the safety of players and officials.

“Because of the tear gas, they went out to one point at the exit. Then, there is accumulation. As a result of the buildup, many people experience shortness of breath, lack of oxygen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malang District Head M. Sanusi said all medical expenses for the supporters undergoing treatment in a number of hospitals will be fully borne by Malang District Government.

“We have deployed all ambulances for the evacuation process from Kanjuruhan Stadium. For those who are healthy and treated, all costs are borne by Malang District,” he added. (Antara)

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