Arkansas officials release new videos of Salt Bowl scare
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism on Wednesday released new videos of the safety scare at the Salt Bowl last month.
The game between Benton and Bryant high schools at War Memorial Stadium on Aug. 25 was cancelled in the third quarter after a fight led to rumors of gunfire and caused a panic. Police said a Taser was fired during the fight, but some people thought it sounded like a gunshot and led many of the 38,000 people in attendance to flee.
As people were fleeing, multiple metal barricades outside the stadium were knocked over and made loud noises that people may have interpreted to be gunfire, according to police.
The videos released Wednesday show the chaos inside the stadium from multiple angles. Attendees are seen diving behind partitions and seats and motioning for other people to take cover. The videos show others leaving behind their personal belongings and jumping onto the field to run away.
At one point in the videos, a man comes over the loudspeaker and pleads for people to calm down.
"Hey guys, remain calm," the man says. "We have tons of people here to keep everybody safe. Remain calm. Stay off the field."
The sound of people running and jumping along metal bleachers, like rain on a tin roof, can be heard throughout the videos. There's also occasional screaming. At one point, several state parks rangers can be seen walking through the crowd and motioning for people to calm down or sit down, it appears. Throngs of people still rush down the aisles.
Department director Kane Webb said Sunday that investigators had found no evidence that a gun was pulled during the game. Still, the department put new safety measures in place afterward. Now only clear bags are allowed in the stadium and no loitering is allowed in the concourse. The stadium also increased searches with metal detector wands.
The Department of Parks and Tourism said Wednesday that an investigation is ongoing.