Event Operations Manual
Software for Club Treasurers

Death in Sport

The following are, unfortunately , some of the ways that people have died at sporting events. Some are quite bizarre.

The following accounts serve to be a reminder to all event directors to expect the unexpected.

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In 1964, 318 people were killed and another 500 injured in riots at a football match at the National Stadium, Lima, Peru. This was the worst ever sporting disaster.

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A tennis spectator shot in the leg while sitting on the stadium court watching a match by someone letting off a gun on the outside the court. Police never found out who was responsible.

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In 1989, 95 people were crushed to death at the Hillsborough Soccer Stadium, Sheffield, England when police opened gates to alleviate crowding, resulting in a rush of people onto the already filled terrace. The barriers broke under the weight of the crowd which then toppled forwards and downwards, crushing those at the bottom.

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Bridge collapse and drowning

in 1997, four Australian athletes died at the Maccabiah Games, Israel when a temporary bridge collapsed under the weight of people. Two athletes died immediately by drowning in the Yarkon River below, while the other two died of complications caused by the polluted river water.

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Killed by a flare

In 1993 at Word Cup Qualifying game in Cardiff, a football fan was killed by a flare which was fired across the pitch and into the neck of an elderly man.

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Killed by a Wheel

A crash involving Formula 1 racing drive Jacques Villeneuve at the Australian Grand Prix caused the right rear wheel of his vehicle to be torn off. By a freak chance the errant wheel went through an access hole cut in the chainlink fence before striking a track marshall in the chest and killing him and wound seven others.

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In 2010, 88 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a volleyball match in north-west Pakistan.

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In 1985, 56 people burned to death and over 200 injured when fire engulfed the main grandstand at Bradford's soccer stadium.

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Killed by a projectile

In 2002, a 13 year old girl spectator was killed by a Ice Hockey puck that went over the glass walls surrounding the ice arena.

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Balcony collapse

In 1998, a balcony collapsed holding more than 100 people, mostly children. The balcony fell 16 feet onto a crowded floor at the Russian Freestyle Wrestling Championships at Nalchik, southern Russian.

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Five Arab terrorists wearing track suits climbed the six and 1/2 foot fence surrounding the 1972 Olympic Village in Munich, Germany. Once inside, they were met by three others who had gained entrance with credentials. Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five terrorists, and a German policeman were dead.

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Killed by parachutist

A woman was killed by a parachutist in Spearman, Texas in 1996 who was actually delivering the ball for a high school football game and was blown by the wind into spectators in the crowd.

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Crowd stampede

In 2001, 42 people were killed at the Ellis Park Stadium, South Affrica, when the crowd began to stampede trying to get into the stadium.

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Struck by car

Two people were killed and three others injured when a rally car drove into crowd of spectators in Letterkenny, Ireland, 2002.

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Deadly fall

In 2008, a man exiting New York's Shea Stadium died when he fell from an escalator and plunged two stories to the ground level.

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