Indonesia to demolish soccer stadium where stampede killed over 130 people
The stadium where the stampede killed more than 130 people. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Kita Akyar)
Indonesia is about to demolish the main soccer stadium of the city of Medan, where at least 130 people died in a stampede following an accident in the early hours of Monday morning.
More than a year ago, the stadium that housed the Indonesian national football team and other events came to a halt when water poured in from the adjacent river and a stampede ensued.
Since then, the stadium’s fate has been a topic that has attracted national attention.
On Thursday night, the stadium committee presented a plan to demolish the stadium, but their aim is to demolish the whole area around it, not just rebuild it. This means the stadium itself would be dismantled and never used to house a football match again.
Affected families have already filed a class action suit against the stadium committee, seeking the right to rebuild the stadium where more than 130 people died.
I’m very upset that the people that committed that accident are not being punished. One of the families that lost their loved ones is claiming damages. That accident was not caused by one particular person, but by the negligence of a whole government. — A.R. Pudjiastuti, one of the victims’ families
The football stadium complex was built in 1999 and is located near the city’s downtown, but it was a public park and was planned to eventually be transformed into a shopping center. In 2002, a new mayor called for it to be demolished.
The public rejected it, and the committee that is in charge of its planning was formed.
But in the end, the stadium committee went ahead and filed an official report, which was approved by the Cabinet and passed on to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
This past March, the president asked the stadium committee to stop working on the plans for the stadium and return the report. At the time, he said he was against the plans for a shopping mall, and that they were “unnecessarily provocative” and an “emblem of a lack of confidence in the capacity of the people