World Cup fans stampede in Rio
RAW VISION: fans watching the World Cup get caught in a stampede in Rio de Janeiro after robberies started occurring in the crowd.PT1M8S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3bma4 620 349 July 9, 2014
A group of Australians have been caught up in mass panic near an area for World Cup fans on Copacabana beach, after Brazil's crushing defeat to Germany.
Gunshots rang out in the area as Germany scored its fifth goal, sparking thousands of fans to run in terror down Brazil's most famous beach.
"As the goal was scored, gunshots and screams were heard coming from our left," Australian tourist Tyson Perkins said. He is travelling with eight friends.
Chaos breaks out on Copacabana Beach after Germany scored its fifth goal against Brazil. Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)
"Hundreds of people were running at us with terror in their eyes," said Mr Perkins.
"The idea that someone might be running around with a gun, it's just not something you can ever prepare for.
"We didn't know what to do, your instinct is just to run."
Tyson Perkins, Dylan Saulwick, Billy Wright, Matts Van Der Giessen and Daniel Head play football on a beach in Rio de Janeiro a day before the panic. Photo: Alice Schulz
Foreign journalists covering the World Cup were also caught up in the panic.
Safe inside a British hostel now. The fear on peoples faces running for cover was scary. Children running too. Rio is in for a long night— Lance Santos (@Lance_News) July 8, 2014
The panic was caused by a mass robbery or "arrastao," a tactic used by favela gangs in Rio de Janeiro. A large well-armed gang descended on bars in the fan festival area of Copacabana beach.
Mr Perkins' group of friends felt the tension in the crowd rise as the goals kept coming. The carnival atmosphere disappeared and turned into dead silence, he said.
"I thought it was going to trigger riots. There was an atmosphere of being incensed amongst the crowd."
Now that Brazil was out of the World Cup, Mr Perkins said he felt it was not an ideal time to be in the country.
"It'll be even worse if Argentina wins. We'll definitely be more careful and probably avoid major nightspots."
The group was surprised that the mass robbery could take place given the enormous security presence.
As the fans ran, the Brazilian riot police swarmed the area but the gang escaped with bags and jewellery.