Families share stories of death and survival after the Indonesian stadium disaster

MALANG, Indonesia – At the Saiful Anwar hospital in Malang, which brought many injured in the Indonesian stadium disaster, dozens of family members waited for news of their loved ones on Sunday night.

They sat on mats with bags of fruit and water bottles. Some babies just learn to walk. When his name was called, a relative was rushed to the emergency wing.

Bambang Siswanto, 40, said he left home at around 1 a.m. to find his son and grandson, who went to play games but did not return. He found his 19-year-old son 30 minutes later. He has fainted and is receiving medical assistance in the stadium.

His son said people started shoving and trying to flee as the stadium filled with tear gas.

“He couldn’t see anything,” Mr Siswanto said. “When he regained consciousness, he was in the VIP area with an oxygen mask on.”

Around 2:30 a.m., Mr. Siswanto said he found his nephew dead at the hospital.

Mr. Siwanto said the death of his grandson, 17, had caused difficulties for his son.

“He looked fine when I found him, but as soon as he saw his cousin’s body, that’s when it hit him,” he said. “He was empty handed. You talked to him and got no response. Empty.”


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