Ellis Park soccer stampede kills 43

Ellis Park

Stadium disaster.

Wednesday, 11 April 2001

At least forty-three people were killed in a stampede at Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg, at a football match between South Africa's two biggest teams, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. 250 were injured as people poured into a stadium that was already full to over capacity. Twenty-nine people died inside the stadium and a further fourteen died outside. Several children, including eleven year old Rosswinn Nation and thirteen year old Sphiwe Mpungose were under the fatalities. Nine of the injured remained on the critical list.

The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but eyewitnesses said there were many thousands more inside the ground. A police spokesman put the figure at 120,000. In addition, about 60,000 people were still outside the stadium as the match started. Most of the deaths occurred when the waiting crowd rushed the gate. Fans interviewed after the tragedy condemned the clubs' attitude to safety, accusing them of being more interested in tickets than safety of the spectators. The police were also blamed for not keeping order outside the stadium.

Forty-two people were killed in 1991at Orkney during another match between the Pirates and the Chiefs.

• MailOnline, 43 dead in soccer stadium stampede, from Daily Mail, [online], Available at www.dailymail.co.uk [Accessed: 11 April 2014]
• CNN, Major Stadium Disasters, from Sports Illustrated, [online], Available at sportsillustrated.cnn.com [Accessed: 11 April 2014]

Last updated : 11-Apr-2016

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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