1988 Kathmandu stadium disaster

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Coordinates: 27°41′41″N 85°18′55″E / 27.6947°N 85.3152°E / 27.6947; 85.3152

1988 Kathmandu stadium disaster[1]
Kathmandu Rangasaala(Football Stadium) (2).JPG
The grandstand of Dasarath Rangasala Stadium
Date 12 March 1988
Location Dasarath Rangasala Stadium
Kathmandu, Nepal
Cause Overcrowding
Deaths 93
Non-fatal injuries over 100

The Kathmandu Stadium Disaster occurred on 12 March 1988 at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal during an association football match between Janakpur Cigarette Factory Ltd and Liberation Army of Bangladesh for the 1988 Tribhuvan Challenge Shield.[2] 93 people were killed and 100 more were injured when attempting to flee from a hailstorm inside the hypethral national Dasarath Rangasala Stadium.[1] The Kathmandu stadium disaster is the 9th biggest stadium disaster until 2006 (in terms of human loss, 93 spectators died), and the worst stadium disaster in Nepal.

Build up[edit]

The Dasarath Rangasala Stadium is open terrace on three sides with the west side having the only grandstand. It hosts most of Nepal's domestic and international games and the final of the Tribhuvan Challenge Shield 1988 made no exeption. 30,000 spectators were present.[1] News reports that the weather on the day was not bad with sunshine through out the day. Mahesh Bista, the-then executive committee member of the All Nepal Football Association, said they were initially looking forward to postpone the match but, “we decided to hold it as the rainy morning had changed into a sunny afternoon”[citation needed].


There are often significant hailstorms in Nepal at this time of year and on this occasion large hail began to lash the crowd causing some panic. The crowd surged towards the only cover (the west stand) but were beaten back by the police. They then returned to the south terrace where a crush developed in a tunnel exit through the terrace. The crowd could not escape because the stadium doors were locked, causing a fatal crush at the front.[1][3][4]


Despite the huge loss of life and hundreds of fans being injured, the autocratic government of Nepal at that time decided not to compensate the victims. The reason they gave was that the fans were at the stadium by their own choice and the government played no part in causing the catastrophe.[citation needed]

After the disaster, Minister for Education and Culture Keshar Bahadur Bista and president of All Nepal Football Association, Kamal Thapa, were to resign.[5]

The Dasarath Rangasala Stadium was later renovated and updated into a football stadium with track and field stadium layout for the 1999 South Asian Games with the help from Chinese government.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "93 Die in Nepal Stadium Stampede : Soccer Fans Rush to Locked Exits in Sudden Hailstorm". LA Times. 13 March 1988. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "Dasharath Stadium marks 25th year of disaster". The Himalayan. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Life's Most Expensive Football Ticket". BicharDabali. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Football stadium disasters". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "1988 Dasharath Stadium Disaster - Black Day Of Nepalese Football Marks 30 Yrs". Goal Nepal. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 

External links[edit]