Official: 1 dead in Argentina soccer unrest

Official: 1 dead in Argentina soccer unrest

Buenos Aires — Authorities say one person was killed Thursday when heated skirmishes outside a soccer match between Boca Juniors and Gimnasia y Esgrima spilled into the stadium and onto the field.

Approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Argentina’s capital, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas outside the Carmelo Zerillo stadium in La Plata, La Plata, in an attempt to prevent spectators from rushing into the already crowded arena.

Inside, stunned onlookers were seen squeezing through fence to escape the mayhem and into the playing field.

“I can confirm that one person has passed away. This individual died from cardiac arrest “Sergio Berni, the security minister of the province of Buenos Aires, where the Argentine first division match took place, stated as much.

The match was halted after nine minutes “due to lack of (security) guarantees,” the referee Hernan Mastrangelo declared, shortly after the players and technical staff had departed the field for the locker rooms.

 

“It affected everyone on the pitch,” he continued. “The air was no longer breathable. The situation spiraled out of control, and no security guarantees were in place.”

Authorities at the San Martin hospital in La Plata reported that a 57-year-old man died while being taken from the stadium to the hospital due to cardiac arrest.

Several supporters, including children being led or carried by adults, raced to the field, where they were observed sitting or lying down, presumably recovering from tear gas exposure.

The match took place at a crucial time in the Argentine top-flight league, with four rounds remaining and Gimnasia’s last chance to win the championship at home, while Boca was seeking a victory to return to the top division.

“What was supposed to be a celebration ends in this. What transpired is tremendously upsetting, and we regret it “Hugo Ibarra, manager of Boca Juniors, told reporters.

The violence occurred five days after a stampede in Indonesia caused by police firing tear gas into a crowded stadium claimed the lives of at least 131 people, including 32 children.

 

»Official: 1 dead in Argentina soccer unrest«

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