Sports disasters: Terror attack on SL players, Brazil team plane crash, Munich massacre

Updated: Mar 03, 2020, 10:38 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

From the Colombian plane crash in 2016 to terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in 2009 - we look at the worst disasters in the world of sports

A collage of three disasters in sports
A collage of three disasters in sports

On this day back in 2009, the Sri Lankan cricket team touring Pakistan were attacked by terrorists. Many cricketers were injured in the incident. We take a look at other dreadful disasters that have occurred in the world of sports. 

Terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers - March 3, 2009

 Sangakkara with his wife, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis and (L-R) Kumar Sangakkara with his wife Yehali, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis and Tharanga Paranavitana. (Pic/ AFP)

 The Sri Lankan cricket team bus was attacked by terrorists while travelling to Gadaffi for their second Test match against Pakistan. 12 gunmen of the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi awaited a bus, carrying Sri Lankan cricketers when they were travelling to Gadaffi stadium in Lahore, to play the second Test against Pakistan. As the bus passed, the militants opened fire at the bus. Pakistan police returned fire and in the process, 6 policemen and 2 civilians died. Several Sri Lankan cricketers were severely injured namely Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana, Chaminda Vaas, Ajantha Mendis and Suranga Lakmal.

LaMia Flight 2933 crash - November 28, 2016

Brazil's Chapecoense player Helio Neto is helped by paramedics in la Union, Antioquia Department on November 29, 2016 after being rescued from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, Colombia, carrying the whole Brazilian team. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 76 people, officials said.Brazil's Chapecoense player Helio Neto is helped by paramedics in la Union, Antioquia Department on Tuesday after being rescued from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, Colombia, carrying the whole Brazilian team. Pic/AFP

In November 2016, a charter plane carrying Brazilian football team Chapecoense to the biggest game in its history crashed in the Colombian mountains after an electrical fault, killing 76 people on board.

Colombia's worst air disaster in two decades killed all but three of players on the team from Brazil's top soccer league as it flew to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, South America's equivalent of the Europa League.

Global soccer was stunned with tributes pouring in from major figures including Pele, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney.

The Hillsborough Stadium Stampede - April 15, 1989

Policemen rescue soccer fans at Hillsborough stadium April 15, 1989 when 96 fans were crushed to death and hundreds injured after support railings collapsed during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham ForestPolicemen rescue soccer fans at Hillsborough stadium April 15, 1989 when 96 fans were crushed to death and hundreds injured after support railings collapsed during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Pic/AFP

Dubbed Britain’s worst sports disaster, this 1989 stampede saw at least 96 football supporters killed and over 200 more injured. The tragedy took place at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield during the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool after a wall collapsed during a stampede by Liverpool supporters. The crush is said to have resulted from too many Liverpool fans being allowed in to the back of an already full stand at the Leppings Lane end of the ground. Some fans have said bad ticket allocation contributed to the disaster. Liverpool has far more supporters than Nottingham Forest but were given 6,000 fewer tickets and allocated the smaller Leppings Lane stand.

SS Bokhara disaster – October 10, 1892

A P&O ship known as the SS Bokhara sank off-coast of Sand Island in Taiwan due to a disastrous typhoon. This shipwreck claimed a total of 125 lives, eleven of who were members of the Hong Kong national cricket team. The team were returning home after a cricket match a week earlier against Shanghai.

Munich Olympics massacre – September 5-6, 1972

munich disaster
A commemoration plate for the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre in front of the house in Connollystrasse 31, where the Israeli team stayed during the Olympic Games, in Munich, southern Germany. Pic/ AFP

 During the ongoing Summer Olympics in Munich, a Palestinian group known as ‘Black September’ held 11 members of the Israel Olympics team hostage and demanded the release of 234 of their political prisoners who were held at a jail in Israel. The terrorist killed 6 Israeli coaches and 5 Israeli athletes. A total of 17 were reported dead which also included 5 Black September members and a German police officer.

Accra Sports stadium disaster - May 9, 2001

129 football fans in Ghana died after a horrific stampede broke out during a game between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko. The stampede broke out after the referee of the match gave a controversial decision. The police personnel present at the stadium began to fire teargas which led to the aggravating the incident.

Southern Airways Flight 932 disaster – November 14, 1970

A chartered United States jet plane flying from North Carolina to West Virginia crashed into tree-tops on a hill in an attempt to land after an alert regarding bad weather conditions. The plane carried a total of 75 people, 37 who were footballers of the Marshall University team. Following a loss to East Carolina Pirates, the team were on their way home; it was also one of the rare occasions the team travelled by flight. This disaster is recorded as the worst is U.S. sports history.

Superga air disaster – May 4, 1949

A plane carrying the entire Torino football team, also known as 11 Grande Torino, crashed into a wall of the Basilica of Superlaga on a hill of Turin due to bad weather conditions. The team were on their way back home after a friendly match in Portugal. 31 passengers on board were killed which included 18 players, 4 crew members and journalists.

Munich air disaster – February 6, 1958

Munich air disaster
The crowd pause for a minutes silence on the game nearest to the anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster before the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford. Pic/ AFP

A British European Airlines flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway in West Germany. The plane carried members of the Manchester United football team who were returning home from a European Cup match. This crash killed a total of 23 people from the 44 onboard.

Kathmandu stadium disaster - March 12, 1988

The Kathmandu Stadium Disaster occurred on March 12, 1988, 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 93 people were killed and 100 more were injured when fans attempted to flee from a hailstorm inside the national Dasarath Rangasala Stadium. The Kathmandu stadium disaster is the 4th biggest stadium disaster (in terms of human loss), and the worst stadium disaster in Nepal.

Lima soccer disaster - May 24, 1964

At least 300 football fans were killed and another 500 injured in one of the worst sports tragedies in Latin America. This tragedy took place at the National Stadium in Lima, Peru, in 1964 during a Peru vs Argentina Olympic qualifying match. The incident took place after the referee disallowed a Peruvian goal. Fights broke out, and people looking to exit the arena were stuck. Horrible crowd control measures exacerbated the situation.

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