FNB Stadium stampede in South Africa kills two | News | DW | 29.07.2017
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FNB Stadium stampede in South Africa kills two

A crowd crush allegedly linked with the sale of fake tickets has killed two people in Johannesburg and injured several others. The two teams playing were also involved in the country's two worst football tragedies.

Two people died in a crowd crush during a football match on Saturday at the Johannesburg stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final.

The country's two most popular teams, the Kaizer Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates, were playing at a preseason derby at FNB stadium.

The crush happened outside a stadium gate, local broadcasters reported, citing officials.

Michael Sun, a Johannesburg municipal councillor responsible for public safety, confirmed the deaths in a tweet.

Sun told local media the stampede was linked to disruption caused by people trying to sell or present fake tickets at a stadium gate.

Pirates 'saddened'

The Orlando Pirates said in a statement they were saddened by the deaths that they said were caused by people attempting to push through the gates. 

"At the moment we can confirm two fatalities caused by blunt force trauma, one critically injured and sixteen spectators with minor injuries following a turnstile stampede," the club wrote in a statement on Facebook.

"This incident is extremely unfortunate as solid security plans were put in place in conjunction with SAPS and various other stakeholders, to ensure that this is a risk-free event."

Local journalists posted images of the scene on Twitter.

City Mayor Herman Mashaba extended his condolences in a statement. 

"The sad loss of life at such a highly anticipated event is indeed a tragedy and the city will work with all the relevant authorities to prevent tragedies in the future."

Mashaba said the cause of the crush was being investigated.

The match continued despite the deaths, with the Chiefs winning 1-0 at the 94,000-capacity stadium in the Soweto area of Johannesburg.

Stampede disasters

South Africa's two worst football tragedies both involved matches between the same clubs.

In 2001, 43 people were crushed to death when a reported 30,000 additional fans tried to cram into Ellis Park Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000. 

Ten years previously, 42 people were killed at Oppenheimer Stadium as they tried to flee brawls that had broken out between rival fans.

aw/tj (AFP, AP)