CAIRO - Survivors described it as a corridor of death: a narrow route of high, chain-link security fences and barbed wire that thousands of soccer fans were filing through before entering the stadium to watch their team play.
Then, mayhem broke out. Those at the front of the line were turned back by police. Those in the back continued to press forward. Jittery police fired tear gas into the middle of the crowd, creating what survivors said was "like a whirlpool" - sucking people into a crush of bodies with no way out.
The stampede killed 22 people Sunday night at the Air Defense stadium, a military facility in an eastern suburb of Cairo, prior to the game between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI.
The scene was all too familiar. Almost three years to the day, 74 soccer fans were killed in an unprecedented stadium riot in Port Said where the Al-Masry team hosted a match with rival Al-Ahly of Cairo as police watched and failed to intervene. That Feb. 1, 2012, bloodshed prompted the cancellation of the national championship, further entrenching the hostility between police and soccer fans.
Political factions Monday called for the resignation of the interior minister, who heads the security forces. Police were criticized for incompetence and for callous disregard for life. In a further show of insensitivity, Sunday's match went ahead despite the deaths, ending in a 1-1 tie. A Zamalek player who refused to play was punished, with the team canceling his contract.