Disaster at National League Quarterfinals Leaves 12 Dead and Dozens Injured

Edson Flores Silloca / shutterstock.com
Edson Flores Silloca / shutterstock.com

You know those incredible stories of the underdog, the masses of common people, finally beating “the man?” The ones that are awe-inspiring and encourage you to fight for good and never give up?

This is not one of those.

Yes, it involves the everyday citizen, the worker, taking back what is rightfully theirs. It also proves that when people come together, massive change can be made, and “the man,” whether that be the government, establishment media, or big businesses, can be put in his place.

However, it also involves great tragedy.

It happened on Sunday, during a quarterfinals soccer match in El Salvador. The Salvadorian league was scheduled to play Alianza against Fas at the Monumental stadium in Cuscatlán, about 25 miles northeast of the nation’s capital.

As Alianza fan Jose Angel Penado told the press that the game was “scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., but they closed the gate at 7 p.m. and left us outside with our tickets in our hands.”

Naturally, fans “got angry. We asked them to let us in, but no.”

So what did the fans do? They knocked the gate to the stadium down… and a stampede ensued.

In the aftermath, 12 people were left dead. Civil Protection director Luis Amaya says 100 more were sent to hospitals in critical condition, while about 500 people were treated at the stadium for their injuries.

As one unidentified volunteer with Rescue Commandos first aid group 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.”

To be sure, it was a nightmare. And one no one had anticipated or wanted.

According to the National Civil Police Commissioner, Mauricio Arrizia Chicas, there will be a criminal investigation into the entire incident, from ticket sales to the stadium entrances.