Stampede at soccer match leaves 22 dead, 100 injured

CALI, Colombia -- Thousands of soccer fans stampeded for stadium exits to escape a rain of debris and urine from the upper deck and 22 people were killed in the crush with another 100 injured, police said today.

At the end of a match Wednesday night at the Pascual Guerrero stadium, a group of rowdy young fans in the upper level of the stadium began throwing trash and spraying urine over thousands of people heading for the exits, police said.


The people, trying to escape the shower of debris, stampeded towards the stadium's exits, which became blocked as people crowded around them, police said. The crowd shoved forward stepping on many of the people and crushing others, the police said.

They said 22 people died and 100, including women and children, were injured. The stampede occurred at the end of a match between America and Deportivo Cali, which ended in a 3-3 tie.

A government spokesman said the injured are being treated at local hospitals, but most of the injuries were light.

Mayor Julio Rissgo said the 'irresponsible actions of some youths who were drunk caused the tragedy.

'The structure of the stadium did not give way. Only a fence gave way to the crush of the people,' the mayor said. A government spokesman added that the youths threw 'wastes and bottles at the people.'


Police have begun an investigation into the incident in an attempt to identify those responsible.

'There were many crushed bodies and other children died of asphyxiation when the doors to the stadium were blocked,' Simon Espinosa, a fan who was at the stadium, said.

'I saw from the other side of the stadium when the people, having gone crazy, tried to leave the stadium on a ramp that was heavily crowded. It looked like a human river because everybody wanted to escape from the tragedy,' he said.

In October in a similar incident 69 soccer fans died in Moscow's Lenin stadium following a European cup game.

In the last tragedy in Colombia 20 people were killed when a stadium in Ibague collapsed.

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