10 More Tragic Disasters in The World of Sports (Part 2)
Disaster is not immune to anyone, whether it’s the sportsmen or the spectators. It may be caused due to low safety standards or overcrowding or even by crazy fans who can’t face defeat like honourable sportsfans. This list is in (descending) order based on the years that the tragedies took place. Before you read this, check out part 1 of Disasters in The World of Sports.
Disasters in The World of Sports
PORT SAID STADIUM RIOT (2012)
Number 10 on Disasters in The World of Sports, On 1 February 2012 during the Egyptian Premier League football match, the El Ahly clubs ended up beating El Masry. This sent the El Masry football club fans into a ragging fit and they suddenly stormed into the stadium, searching and beating up every El Ahly fans they could get their hands on. So much for sportsmanship! They attacked El Ahly players and their fans with knives, stones, bottle and even fireworks. It lead to 72 absolutely meaningless deaths, over 500 injured. Later, to teach fans how to behave in the stadium the Egyptian government had banned domestic league matches for two years.
Interesting fact: During the riot some well-known anti-SCAF and anti-government revolutionary were targeted and badly injured. This has lead several people to believe that the riot was not spontaneous but a political manoeuvre.
When trials were held in 2013 a group of pricks lead another anti-verdict riot which resulted in 20 more deaths and 250 people being injured.
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ESTADIO MATEO FLORES DISASTER (1996)
At 9 of Disasters in The World of Sports, Also known as The October 16 disaster, it occurred when, due to sale of counterfeit tickets, 50,000 people jostled to enter the Grand Sur section that had the official capability of holding only 37,000. The excessive number of spectators resulted in a collapse and fans fell down right into the ground causing a ‘human avalanche’. Around 83 people were killed and more than 140 were injured. Added to this the stadium’s tardy design lead to difficult evacuation and a whole lot of stampede. The football match was obviously suspended and FIFA banned the stadium for 2 years until its safety issues were dealt with.
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HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER (1989)
At 8 of Disasters in The World of Sports, A ridiculously dangerous overcrowding occurred during the 1988–89 FA Cup semi-final matches between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. What happened next was pretty predictable – bone grinding crush, panic, suffocation, death (of 96 people) and (766) injuries. It’s interesting to note that the freaking amount of audience the match will draw was foreseen so (according to the Taylor Report) “the main reason for the disaster was the failure of police control.” In its aftermath several common and not-so-common folks had extended their condolences, appeals were made for donations and after having raised over £12 million the money was distributed to the victim’s families. Some of the survivors of Hillsborough Disaster ended up committing suicide while other suffered psychologically for the rest of their lives.
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1988 KATHMANDU STADIUM DISASTER
At 7 of Disasters in The World of Sports, Panic and approaching hail-storm are the worst kind of reasons for a tragedy. It was around the time of year when hail-storms were quiet frequent in Kathmandu. After intense thinking the authorities decided to go ahead with the match between Janakpur Cigarette Factory Ltd and Liberation Army. They soon regretted it because by the end of the day 93 people had perished and 100 more were injured.
Seeing the approach of a thundering hail-storm, fans tried to flee which resulted in a crush in the tunnel exit. In its aftermath, the government of Nepal decided (like a jerk-boss) not to compensate the families of the dead because, they reason, that people had arrived at the stadium to watch the game on their own will (much like people board a plane or a train at their own will but they get compensated anyway).
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BRADFORD CITY STADIUM FIRE (1985)
At 6 of Disasters in The World of Sports, The Bradford City Stadium or the Valley Parade Stadium was home to the Bradford Football Club. During one of the matches between home team and Lincoln City, the stadium was engulfed in fire which lead to 56 deaths and 265 injured spectators.
Bradford City Stadium had state of art facilities including an awesomely designed wooden roof. But the place was filthy with heaps of trash shoved underneath the seats by audiences. The stand was all set to be soon demolished but before that could happen, a small spark nudged by winds became a raging tornado of fire threatening to destroy every life present in the stadium. The crowd struggled to escape and broke down locked exits. At the time The Bradford City stadium fire was the worst fire disaster in the history of English football and later this incident lead to modification and introduction of new safety standards.
Interesting fact: During this terrible tragedy many heroic endeavours were made by common folks who I’m sure when they woke up in the morning of 11 May 1985 had no idea they’d be risking their lives for strangers. 50 such acts of valour were adorned by police awards.
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LUZHNIKI DISASTER (1982)
Circumstantially similar to the Ibrox disaster (1971), the Luzhniki tragedy is officially the worst sporting disaster in Russia. Like many other sporting tragedies, this too involves human crush that killed 66 spectators (mostly teenagers) injuring hundreds more.
Interesting fact: The number of casualties wasn’t officially revealed until seven years later and even then reports fluctuated between 3 to 340 fatalities.
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KARAISKAKIS STADIUM DISASTER (1981)
On 8 February 1981 following the victory of the Olympiacos against AEK Athens, fans went into frenzy. To celebrate like hell they marched towards the exit ‘Gate 7’, tons and tons of men stuck together, wobbling to and fro like a bunch of excited penguins. At Gate 7 disasters struck when, owing to the partially open door someone tumbled forward and fell head first on the floor. Other stumbled over him and like dominoes people began falling on one another until there was a heap of men lying like dead bodies while hordes of spectators coming through the door.
Regarded as the biggest football tragedy in the history of Greece, Karaiskakis Stadium disaster witnessed 21 deaths and several seriously injured.
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PAKHTAKOR TASHKENT FC TRAGEDY (1979)
Also called 1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision occurred at a time when the Pakhtakor were in solid form and had made it to the Soviet Top League. On 11 August 1979 during their flight to play against Dinamo Minsk, the plane’s tail collided against another Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134 over Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine killing all the passengers (178 in total) of both the planes. A glitch in communication with the air traffic controller was primary responsible for this catastrophic events.
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ESTADIO NACIONAL DISASTER (1964)
Time and again I’ve used this phrase ‘worst disaster ever….blah blah blah’, but, dear readers, this – Estadio Nacional Disaster – officially is the worst disaster in association football history. This particular tragedy struck on 24 May 1964 during South America’s Olympic qualifying tournament. Argentina was leading by 1-0 and Peru wanted to win badly. When six minutes were left for the match to end, Peru was denied an equaliser and fans decided to create hell on earth. Officially 328 people lost their lives and 500 got injured, though some consider these as underestimate.
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- 1955 LE MANS DISASTER
In one of the most catastrophic event in the history of Motorsport, Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR collided with Lance Macklin’s Austin-Healey 100 so ferociously that the car went flying into the air and some of its parts went straight into the stands like bullents. At the end Levegh perished with 83 other spectators. 120 more were injured. People were so shocked with the alarming number of spectator deaths that the government of France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and a few other nations altogether banned motorsport until safety standards were raised in the tracks.
10 More Tragic Disasters in The World of Sports (Part 2)
1: 1955 LE MANS DISASTER
2: ESTADIO NACIONAL DISASTER (1964)
3: PAKHTAKOR TASHKENT FC TRAGEDY (1979)
4: KARAISKAKIS STADIUM DISASTER (1981)
5: LUZHNIKI DISASTER (1982)
6: BRADFORD CITY STADIUM FIRE (1985)
7: 1988 KATHMANDU STADIUM DISASTER
8: HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER (1989)
9: ESTADIO MATEO FLORES DISASTER (1996)
10: PORT SAID STADIUM RIOT (2012)