At approximately 2130 EST on 20MAY23, reports began to emerge of an emergency situation at Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador, El Salvador. By 2145 the game was cancelled after at least three deaths were confirmed. It appears that spectators were pushing up against the fence on midfield and further back into the stadium tunnels. The majority of deaths seem to have occurred in those tunnels where stadium officials locked several gates.
#ULTIMAHORA || SOCORRISTAS ATIENDEN A AFICIONADOS EN EL ESTADIO CUSCATLÁN.
El encuentro está suspendido. pic.twitter.com/EaadDlj2rL
— Mix de Medio (@MixDeMedio_) May 21, 2023
By 2230, reports began to confirm that eleven were killed including a child and several elderly people.
By 2230, El Salvador Health Minister Alabi confirmed the incident and deployed emergency protocols nearly an hour after the fatal crush. By 2300, the death toll has risen to twelve and Zacamil Hospital has been overwhelmed with more than 100 injured victims.
El Jefe de Comandos de Salvamento, Carlos Alvarado, detalló que han sido más de 100 personas trasladadas a centros asistenciales, desde el Estadio Cuscatlán.
El Hospital Zacamil se encuentra colapsado, debido a la cantidad de víctimas. pic.twitter.com/juUIktf9lP
— Radio YSKL ? ? ? (@radioyskl) May 21, 2023
MINISTRO MERINO MONROY APOYA EN EVACUACIÓN DE PERSONAS AFECTADAS EN ESTADIO CUSCATLÁN
Elementos de la @FUERZARMADASV y ambulancias del Comando de Sanidad Militar se encuentran brindando apoyo tras la emergencia en el Estadio Cuscatlán.
— Diario La Huella (@LaHuellaSV) May 21, 2023
By 0700 EST on 21MAY23, both soccer clubs of the game, stadium officials, and various El Salvador officials made statements offering condolences to those injured and the families of the killed. The National Civil Police confirmed an investigation was under way; President Bukele vowed to now let this incident go unpunished, referring to the stadium officials. He also denounced spectators that threw stones at the emergency responders who were attempting to enter the stadium.