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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Soccer game leaves fans hurt as stadium falls

Several spectators killed, injured when sports arena collapses during Sunday soccer game

TEHRAN, Iran -- The roof of a stadium grandstand caved in, killing several fans and injuring hundreds during a soccer game Sunday, the official news agency reported.\nAfter the accident, fans clashed with police trying to make their way into Mottaqi Stadium in northeastern Iran, said Ali Ansarian, a player with Persepolis, one of the teams in the game.\nHe told The Associated Press by phone that fans had started fires on the field.\nState-run Tehran television showed fans wielding metal poles locked in battle with anti-riot forces trying to control the crowds at the stadium in the city of Sari, 155 miles northeast of Tehran.\nIt was not immediately clear what sparked the riots. Some 20,000 fans were in the stadium at the time of the collapse, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. It reported "hundreds" injured and "several" dead without giving exact numbers.\nAnsarian said he had seen at least 30 people dead.\n"We are trapped in the locker room," Ansarian said. "There is such a thick crowd outside that we can't force open the door to the locker room. Through a small window, I can see fighting outside between fans and the police."\nTehran TV showed one wall of the stadium had been completely torn down. Iron fences separating the grandstand from the field had been rooted out. The field was packed with fans and police forces.\n"The security forces are trying to direct the people out of the stadium" the report said in its latest news broadcast.\nAn operator at a hospital in Sari said the injured were packed into the hallways and even in the courtyard of the Bu Ali Hospital. The telephone operator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said many of the injuries were critical.\nOfficials and witnesses at the stadium, too panic-stricken to give their names, also confirmed that several people had been killed.\nOne of the officials, reached by telephone at the scene, said that the stadium was old and so overcrowded that aid workers could not quickly reach some of the injured.\nTehran television, which was showing the game live at the time the roof collapsed, suddenly cut transmission after the accident.\nPersepolis was playing another local team, Shemooshak of Nowshahr, when the accident happened during the second half.

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