What was supposed to be a celebration of football between South Africa’s two biggest football clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, turned to tragedy after two people died and 17 were injured in a stampede at the FNB Stadium.
Saturday afternoon’s match, the annual Carling Black Label Champions Cup between the two Soweto rivals, was won 1-0 by Kaizer Chiefs, with the stampede believed to have taken place outside the stadium while the action was already well under way.
As such, the match was completed with many unaware of the disaster, until various reports starting flooding in just before full-time.
The shocking news was, however, confirmed about an hour after the game when the event stakeholders issued the following statement: “As sponsors of the event, we are saddened by the fatalities that occurred late this afternoon due to a number of people who attempted to push through the gates.
“At the moment we can confirm two fatalities caused by blunt force trauma, one critically injured and 16 spectators with minor injuries following a turnstile stampede.
“This incident is extremely unfortunate as solid security plans were put in place in conjunction with SAPS and various other stake holders, to ensure that this is a risk-free event.
“Since the inception of the Carling Black Label Cup in 2011, we have had record attendance and incident free events.
“The police and Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) are working together to investigate this matter. As Carling Black Label, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and SMSA wish to express our sincere condolences to the families of those affected by the incident.”
It was just over 16 years ago that 43 people lost their lives in a stampede at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg in a match between the same two clubs.
City extends its condolences
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba extended deepest condolences to the families of the people who died during a stampede.
“The cause of the stampede is under investigation by the South African Police Service. The city’s emergency management services, 100 Johannesburg metro police department officers and disaster management unit are on site,” he said.
“This sad loss of life at such a highly-anticipated event is indeed a tragedy and the city will work with all the relevant authorities to prevent tragedies such as this in future,” Mashaba said.
– African News Agency (ANA)
At least two people have been killed and several others injured in a stampede at the FNB Stadium during the Soweto Derby on Saturday afternoon.
This is according to MMC for public safety in the City of Johannesburg, Michael Sun.
Sun tweeted that two fatalities were confirmed.
SA Football Association spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi also confirmed the news.
By about 4.30pm, Sun tweeted that all of the gates were opened to ensure crowd control. He said the pre-season match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates was set to continue.
“Ambulance capacity increased. Situation under control,” said Sun.
Chiefs and Pirates were playing each other in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup.
Here’s what people had to say on Twitter:
– Additional reporting by African News Agency (ANA)