17 killed in stampede after boxing match in Indonesia

Featured South East Asia - July 16th, 2013

At least 17 people were trampled to death and 39 injured after riots broke out among boxing fans in an overcrowded stadium in Indonesia’s Papua province on Sunday.

A dispute over scoring for a local boxing match in the Kota Lama Sport Stadium in Nabire city erupted after the losing boxer’s supporters threw chairs at the judges while the winner’s camp hurled bottles, reports The Associated Press.

Hundreds of spectators panicked and scrambled to get out the overcrowded stadium, triggering a stampede which killed 17 people, 13 of whom were women.

The wounded were being treated at hospitals.

Police said the stadium has a capacity of 500 to 600, and only had two working exits to accomodate around 1,500 spectators.

“There were military and police personnel present in the stadium, but with so many people panicking… the situation quickly got out of control,” deputy national police spokesman Agus Rianto told Reuters.

Security forces were deployed to stop the fighting, Lt. Col. Gede Sumerta said, adding that 12 people, including five organizers and seven witnesses, were questioned by police.