#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 20 October 2020
Advertisement

VIDEO: Up to 22 killed in crush as Egyptian footballers play on

The league has been suspended as a result.

Source: vid egy/YouTube

AS MANY AS 22 people died as thousands of fans tried to force their way into a Cairo football stadium to watch a game, triggering panic as police fired tear gas and birdshot at the crowds.

Witnesses and medical reports suggested many of the victims were crushed in a stampede, with some suffering broken necks. At least 25 other people were injured, the health ministry said.

The match continued despite the violence, provoking further outrage among the fans.

The clashes prompted the government to postpone the Egyptian Premier League indefinitely, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

The match between Zamalek and Enbi had been open to the public, unlike most other games between Egyptian clubs since stadium riots in Port Said in 2012 left more than 70 people dead in the country’s worst ever sport disaster.

The interior ministry had restricted to 10,000 the number of spectators allowed into the stadium and tickets quickly ran out.

Thousands of fans without tickets scaled the stadium walls before police dispersed them, according to the ministry.

Zamalek supporters aimed fireworks at the police, who fired tear gas and birdshot back, police and witnesses said.

“There was a police car on fire and they were shooting birdshot and tear gas,” a witness told AFP.

Another witness, Mostafa Ibrahim, told AFP: “Police fired tear gas at a large number of fans in a very narrow place. People were trampling over one another trying to escape.”

After a preliminary exam, 19 of the dead were found to have no gunshot wounds, according to a health ministry official. Injuries were consistent with being crushed in a stampede, and some of the dead had broken necks.

An AFP correspondent outside the morgue saw coroner reports handed out saying two of those killed died of “extreme pressure to the chest”.

Many of those injured suffered broken bones and bruising, the health ministry said according to state news agency MENA.

Zamalek defence player Omar Gaber has been suspended for refusing to play in the match in protest at the violence, a statement from his club said.

Officials today say that the number of confirmed dead is 19.

 - © AFP, 2015

Read: Australian journalist Peter Greste released from Cairo prison

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (7)