Football matches, tennis, basketball, and other sports games are supposed to be happy events. But what if they are marked with panic, fires, stampede, blood, injuries or worse, death? With thousands of people in attendance, it is very easy for a huge sports event to turn into a disaster. This is exactly what happened to some of the most tragic sports disasters in history.
1. Fire at Happy Valley Racecourse
Event: Happy Valley Horserace
Date: February 26, 1918
Venue: Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong
Number of People Killed: at least 590
In what used to be called Hong Kong Island, horseracing is a major attraction for locals and tourists. In 1918, a huge fire started and caused the collapse of a temporary grandstand. The structure knocked over food stalls, set bamboo building materials ablaze and killed around 600 spectators. The fire began at 6 in the evening and lasted for 20 minutes. Another factor that caused hundreds of people to die is poorly planned exits, trapping them in the wake of the blazing fire.
In 1995, the Happy Valley Racecourse track was rebuilt and is now a world-class horseracing facility.