WARNING: Concerning images.
A football game in El Salvador has ended in disaster after a stampede resulted in the death of at least 12 people.
Fox Sportsreportsthat more than 500 people were treated by officials at a game at Cuscatlán stadium with over 100 fans taken to hospital.
The tragedy happened 250km northeast of the capital of San Salvador during a quarter-final match between Alianza FC and Club Deportivio FAS.
The game was suspended 16 minutes in after the stampede began in the 44,000-capacity stadium.
Live images were broadcast on local television showing people carrying hundreds of injured fans out of the tunnels and onto the pitch amid the chaos.
The National Civil Police (PNC) released a statement pointing to the stampede beginning as fans tried to enter the stadium.
FAS goalkeeper Gerson Lopez could be seen carrying one of the injured fans to help across the pitch.
Other images showed numerous spectators waving their shirts over injured people in an attempt to revive them after they had passed out.
The initial reports had confirmed nine people had died in the stampede, and the number rose just a couple of hours later.
ABCreported that Carlos Fuentes, a spokesman for the first aid group Rescue Commandos, had confirmed the deaths.
He said: “We can confirm nine dead – seven men and two women – and we attended to more than 500 people, and more than 100 were transported to hospitals. Some of them were serious.”
Salvadorian Health Minister Francisco Alabi said that emergency teams had been sent directly tot he stadium to help the injured to local hospitals.
Gerson López, guardameta del FAS de El Salvador 🇸🇻, apoyó en las labores de auxilio a aficionados del Alianza durante la tragedia de este sábado en el Cuscatlán
📸 Vía @eybonluis pic.twitter.com/mqq1KgIotF
— Luis Omar Tapia (@LuisOmarTapia) May 21, 2023
The Salvadorian Football Federation took to Twitter to express their ‘deep regrets’ over the tragedy.
They wrote: “The Salvadoran Football Federation deeply regrets the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium.
“It also expresses solidarity with the relatives of those affected and deceased in this incident.”
The President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele expressed the need for an ‘exhaustive investigation’ into the incident which will be carried out by national police.
Mr Bukele tweeted: “Everyone will be investigated – teams, managers, stadium, ticket office, league, federation, etc. Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished.”