No fewer than Twelve people were killed and hundreds injured Saturday in a stampede at an El Salvador soccer stadium, police and emergency services said.
Authorities said initial reports pointed to a crush of fans who tried to enter Cuscatlan Stadium in the Central American country’s capital San Salvador to watch a local tournament match between teams Alianza and FAS.
The match was suspended as emergency personnel evacuated people from the stadium, where hundreds of police officers and soldiers gathered as ambulance sirens wailed.
“Salvadoran soccer is in mourning,” National Civil Police (PNC) director Mauricio Arriaza told reporters as he confirmed the death toll of 12.
In a statement Sunday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, calling the stampede “tragic.”
Among the survivors, Sandra Guzman, 40, left a capital hospital early Sunday with a bandage on her left knee, walking with difficulty alongside her friend, Javier Ramirez, 31.
Both said this was the “first and last time” they would experience such a misfortune because they would not return to the stadium.