17 killed in stampede at boxing match in Indonesia

Seventeen people were killed in a stadium stampede after

spectators rioted to protest a local boxer’s loss in a championship

match in eastern Indonesia, officials said Monday.

Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo said the victims – 11 of

them women – were trampled to death as about 1,500 spectators

scrambled out the overcrowded stadium to escape the riot that broke

out just before midnight Sunday. Kota Lama Sport Stadium has a

capacity of 500 to 600, he said. Police said it had two working

exits.

Thirty-two people are being treated at hospital for

injuries.

A total of 84 boxers participated in the Bupati (Regent) Cup

Championships that started July 9 in the Papua province town of

Nabire, Suryo said.

The riot happened after the final of the 58-kilogram (128-pound)

division between Alvius Rumkorem and Yulianus Pigome, who Suryo

said are from different tribes.

Points awarded by a panel of judges to Rumkorem triggered

protests by Pigome supporters, Suryo said.

The losing boxer’s supporters threw chairs at the judges and the

winner’s supporters responded by throwing bottles and broken

chairs, panicking people in the stadium, said Lt. Col. Gede

Sumerta, a provincial police spokesman.

Police and soldiers were deployed to stop the fighting, Sumerta

said, adding that police investigating the case have questioned 12

people – five organizers and seven witnesses.

Nabire, about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) east of Jakarta, is

on Cendrawasih Bay on the north coast of Papua.