Indonesia in shock after horror football stampede kills hundreds

Security personnel (pictured left) intervene on the pitch after a stampede and (pictured right) fans leaving the stadium during the riot.
Security personnel (pictured left) intervened on the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java, which left at least 129 people dead from a stampede. (Getty Images)

Indonesia has been left in shock after hundreds of people were killed after police fired tear gas to disperse rioting fans in East Java province during a football match.

Most of the victims died from a lack of oxygen during a stampede after fans invaded the pitch in the Kanjuruhan stadium on Saturday night as hosts Arema Malang lost 3-2 to rival East Java club Persebaya Surabaya.

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The scenes were distressing as photos showed fans carrying bodies out of the stadium after the horrible riots.

"We regret and deplore the tragedy," provincial police chief Nico Afinta told a news conference on Sunday.

Given the fierce rivalry between the two sets of supporters, police "had suggested that the match be attended by Arema fans only", he said.

Afinta said two police officers were among the dead.

Footage of the event shows fans running after tear gas was used to disperse the riots.

The distressing scenes show fans fleeing s as riot police attempted to clear the field.

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Malang health chief Widjanto Widjoyo put the initial death toll at 129, based on information collected from hospitals in the city.

"We will create a call centre to provide information for families looking for their loved ones," he said.

All remaining competition fixtures have been suspended for a week, while the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said Arema would not host games for the rest of the season.

A team had been formed to investigate the incident, PSSI said.

"We regret the action of Arema supporters at Kanjuruhan Stadium," PSSI chief Mochamad Iriawan said.

"We offer condolences and apologise to the victims' families and all parties for the incident."

with AAP

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