Dozens die in stadium accident
October 16, 1996
Web posted at: 11:10 p.m. EDT(2310 GMT)
GUATEMALA CITY (CNN) -- At least 40 people died and more than
150 were injured in an accident in Guatemala City just before a World Cup qualifying match Wednesday night between Guatemala and Costa Rica, authorities said.
The accident occurred when spectators tried to jam into a
tunnel, authorities said. There were reports that the
accident occurred after a gate collapsed.
Many panicked spectators were trampled or suffocated in a
general seating area of the stadium, witnesses said.
Radio reports said scores of bodies were laid out on the
Guatemala and Costa Rica were about to begin play at Mateo
Flores National Stadium when the accident occurred.
President Alvaro Arzu of Guatemala and President Jose Maria
Figueres of Costa Rica were scheduled to attend the game, but
neither was in the stadium at the time.
CNN sources at Channel 6 Costa Rica confirm 40 people were
crushed to death. Channel 6 reported that the stadium was
filled with at least 47,000 fans. It was built to hold
The match was canceled.
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