JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — 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.