At least 18 people have been killed in Indonesia after a riot caused by a local boxer losing a fight led to 1,500 people stampeding out the stadium.
The deaths occurred at the Kota Lama Sport Stadium in the town of Nabire in Papua province, after a fight between Alvius Rumkorem and Yulianus Pigome, who Indonesia’s sports minister said were from rival tribes.
The victims, mostly women, were trampled to death as about 1,500 spectators scrambled out the stadium to escape a riot that broke out after Rumkorem was awarded a victory on points.
Angry supporters of defeated fighter Pigome began throwing chairs at judges after the result was announced, with Rumkorem’s followers responding by throwing bottles. Within minutes a full-scale riot was underway.
It is believed Kota Lama Sport Stadium had only two working exits at the time of the stampede, leading to confusion and panic over how those trying to flee could actually leave the building and a huge crush at the doors when the exits were eventually located.
Lt. Col. Gede Sumerta Jaya, police spokesman in Papua province, said at least 12 of the dead were women, and more than 40 other spectators were injured and hospitalised.
He added that police and soldiers were deployed to stop the fighting, with five organisers and seven witnesses questioned after the violence had ended.
Nabire, about 2,000 miles east of Jakarta, is located on Cendrawasih Bay on the north coast of Papua.