Three Still Missing in Soccer Stadium Stampede That Killed 84
Oct. 24, 1996
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ A week after a stampede killed 84 people at a soccer stadium, at least three fans still remain unaccounted for.
Romeo Fernando Cux, 16, was last seen _ apparently near death _ in the arms of a fireman who was helping pull the victims from the crush in the stands at the Mateo Flores stadium.
But his name has not appeared on the lists of those injured or dead and his family has searched for him fruitlessly.
Two brothers, Augustin and Juan Quiej, 22 and 20, also have not been seen since they went to the stadium to watch the World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Officials are still trying to determine what panicked spectators who stampeded against a fence along the field and why so many people had tickets to the Oct. 16 match, which was suspended indefinitely.
A commission appointed by President Alvaro Arzu has been investigating the stadium and questioning witnesses.
Soccer officials said they sold 47,700 tickets to the 45,000-seat stadium. Most of the seats are on benches so a modest over-sale would merely have meant tighter seating.
But reporters at the scene estimated about 10,000 extra spectators were on hand, packing the aisles and even sitting on the rooftops.
The commission was counting the number of tickets collected at the gates to try to determine how many tickets were sold and to find out if many were counterfeit.