SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — At least 12 people were killed and 100 more injured when soccer fans pushed through one of the access gates at a quarterfinal match in the Salvadoran league Saturday.
The National Civil Police said in a preliminary report via Twitter that nine dead were confirmed at the match between clubs Alianza and FAS at Monumental stadium in Cuscatlan, which is about 25 miles northeast of the capital. Authorities issued an update on Sunday that four more people died in the incident, all of whom were adults.
An estimated 100 people were transported to medical centers in serious condition, officials said Sunday.
Carlos Fuentes, spokesman for the first aid group Rescue Commandos, also confirmed the initial deaths, seven men and two women. Fuentes said that the group attended to more than 500 people.
Play was suspended about 16 minutes into the match, when fans in the stands waving frantically began getting the attention of those on the field and carrying the injured out of a tunnel and down to the pitch.
Local television transmitted live images of the aftermath of the crush by Alianza fans. Dozens made it onto the field where they received medical treatment. Fans who escaped the crush stood on the field furiously waving shirts attempting to review people lying on the grass barely moving.
Pedro Hernández, president of El Salvador soccer’s first division, said the preliminary information he had was that the crush occurred because fans managed to push through a gate into the stadium.
National Civil Police Commissioner Mauricio Arriza Chicas, at the scene of the tragedy, said there would be a criminal investigation in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office.
“We are going to investigate from the ticket sales, the entries into the stadium, but especially the southern zone,” where, he said, the gate was pushed open.
The Salvadoran Soccer Federation said in a statement that it regretted what had happened and voiced support for the victims’ families. Matches were suspended for Sunday and the sport's officials scheduled a meeting Sunday morning to address the crush, according to a translated tweet from the federation.