On Saturday, at least nine people were tragically killed, with dozens injured in a stampede at a quarter-final matchup between Alianza and FAS at Monumental Stadium in Cuscatlan, El Salvador. The stampede was presumed to have been caused by fans rushing to enter the stadium through a gate.
The National Civil Police reported that the deaths were confirmed, and at least two injured people were in critical condition. Video footage showed fans on the field attempting to revive the victims lying on the grass, barely moving. Carlos Fuentes, a spokesman for the Rescue Commandos first aid group, confirmed the fatalities.
According to reports, the stampede ensued when fans managed to break through a gate to get in. An unidentified Rescue Commandos aid group volunteer said, “It was an avalanche of fans who overran the gate. Some were still under the metal in the tunnel. Others managed to make it to the stands and then to the field and were smothered.”
National Civil Police Commissioner Mauricio Arriza Chicas announced that a criminal investigation would be conducted with the Attorney General’s Office to analyze ticket sales, entry protocols, and the southern gate, allegedly pushed open to allow the fans into the stadium. The Salvadoran Soccer Federation expressed regret and condolence for the victims’ families.
The fatalities at the soccer match in El Salvador serve as a tragic reminder of the importance of safety precautions and underscore the risks of overcrowding. It is a tragedy that could have been avoided, and we hope that justice is swiftly brought to the victims and their families. The Salvadoran Soccer Federation should also take necessary measures to ensure that such a tragedy is never repeated.