Soccer stampede kills dozens |

Soccer stampede kills dozens

Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) – A stampede that began when fans tried to push their way into a packed soccer stadium left at least 45 people dead Wednesday, with bodies strewn across the field, emergency officials said.

The stampede occurred during a match between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at Ellis Park stadium.

Emergency Services said 45 people had been killed, according to the South African Press Association. The South African Broadcasting Corp. put the death toll at 47.

Television footage showed bodies lying on the field, covered with blankets.

At least 25 injured people were being ferried to the hospital by bus and others were being sent by helicopter, emergency services spokesman Piet Olivier told SAPA.

SABC reported that too many tickets had been sold for the match. People outside tried to push into the stadium and were trapped against barbed wire.

Emergency vehicles outside the stadium were unable to move amid the soccer traffic.

Police had earlier fired tear gas at people outside the stadium, according to SAPA.

Several fans at the stadium told a radio station that the stadium had been vastly overcrowded and appeared to have inadequate security to handle the problem.

The Chiefs and the Pirates are major rivals in the local soccer league and their matches are extremely popular. The match was canceled because of the tragedy.

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