16 WESTLIFE FANS INJURED

Fans in Jakarta injured after a surge towards the stage...

Sixteen teenagers were rushed to hospital after a stampede at a WESTLIFE appearance in JAKARTA yesterday (May 24).

According to a report in the Asia Times, a brawl broke out between police and concert security five minutes into the 15,000-capacity concert in the city, and a surge towards the stage at the end of the two-hour concert resulted in some fans being crushed.

The report states that 200 medics, ambulances and fire-engines were on hand at the concert, and roadblocks had been set up around the Soemantri Bodjonegoro venue, but nothing could be done to stop the over-excited teenagers.

A police spokesperson told The Straits Times that there were no deaths and all 16, who were ferried to three hospitals, were released after treatment. He said that, despite 2,000 security staff at the show, the crowd “just went out of control seeing the band playing. We tried to stop them, but could not do anything.”

Eye-witnesses reported seeing police chasing security guards, causing a mild panic, early in the band’s set, but the real problems happened at the end when the teenagers panicked and stampeded while pushing to get closer to the stage.

Four fans died in Jakarta when a stampede broke out at an instore signing by boyband a1 at a shopping mall in March.