1988 Kathmandu stadium disaster
Coordinates: 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. At least 80 people were killed and 100 more were injured when fans attempted to flee from a hail storm inside the national Dasarath Rangasala Stadium. The Kathmandu stadium disaster is the 9th biggest stadium disaster until 2006(in terms of human loss, 80 spectators died), and the worst stadium disaster in Nepal.
The stadium was open terrace on three sides with the west side having the only grandstand. 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.
Mahesh Bista, the-then executive committee member of the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), 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”.
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 stated was, the fans were at the stadium by their own choice and the government played no part in causing the catastrophe.
The disaster led to the resignation of the-then Education and Cultural Minister Keshar Bahadur Bista and ANFA president Kamal Thapa.
Improvement to the stadium
The Dasarath Rangasala Stadium was renovated for 1999 South Asian Games with the help from Chinese government. It was converted into football stadium with track and field facilities. Nepal uses this stadium for most of its sporting events. However, this stadium can also hold big open air musical concerts from Nepali bands, as was the case with the recent Bryan Adams Concert.
- "Dasharath Stadium marks 25th year of disaster". The Himalayan. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- "Life's Most Expensive Football Ticket". BicharDabali. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Football stadium disasters". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- "93 Die in Nepal Stadium Stampede : Soccer Fans Rush to Locked Exits in Sudden Hailstorm". LA Times. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
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