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Deadly Stampede at Soccer Match in El Salvador

A stampede occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium in El Salvador after angry fans stormed a small access gate and knocked it over after being denied entry despite having tickets to the game on Saturday. Play was suspended about 16 minutes into the game due to the stampede. 

At least 12 people died from injuries sustained, and dozens of others were harmed. The Salvadoran Civil Protection Director, Luis Amaya, said that at least 500 people were helped at the stadium, and approximately 100 were taken to local hospitals. 

The Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador is one of the biggest soccer stadiums in Central America, with a maximum capacity of about 44,000. Saturday’s match was between Alianza FC and Club Deportivo FAS, and it was the second leg of the playoff quarterfinals. Local television stations transmitted live feeds of the stampede and its aftermath, unable to stop them from airing in time. 

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, stated that a “thorough investigation” will be conducted o determine how exactly the events transpired. The investigation will be conducted by the National Police and the Attorney General's office. 

"Everyone will be investigated: teams, managers, stadium, box office, league, federation, etc. Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished," Bukele wrote on Twitter.

The Salvadoran Football Federation will also be conducting its investigation as well.

"The Salvadoran Football Federation deeply regrets the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium," the organization wrote on Twitter. "It also expresses solidarity with the relatives of those affected and deceased in this incident."

Many witnesses that spoke to the Associated Press stated that the stampede mainly involved Alianza fans. The investigation is still ongoing, and both organizations have not given any further comments or statements on the matter.


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