Bullfight stand collapses in Colombia, killing 4 and injuring dozens

Videos posted on social media showed a section of the wood and bamboo stands toppling forward into the ring, where locals were participating in a bull-running event

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, June 27, 2022, 12:10 PM IST
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In this image taken from video, spectators agglomerate around the wooden stands that collapsed during a bullfight in El Espinal, Tolima state, Colombia, on Sunday, June 26 | AP

At least four people were killed and hundreds injured in Colombia on Sunday after spectator stands at a bullfight collapsed, authorities said.

The bull reportedly escaped from the plaza hosting the spectacle and was causing panic in the streets of Espinal, Tolima, a city of nearly 60,000 people about 145km south-west of Bogotá, the capital.

Videos posted on social media showed a section of the wood and bamboo stands toppling forward into the ring, where locals were participating in a bull-running event.

The traditional "corraleja" event involved members of the public entering the ring to engage the bulls.

The dead included two women, a man and a child, Tolima Governor Jose Ricardo Orozco said. The region's health official said hospitals had treated 322 people of whom four were in intensive care.

Sunday's event was part of celebrations of the popular San Pedro festival.

Outgoing President Ivan Duque said there would be an investigation, while President-elect Gustavo Petro urged local officials to ban such events.

"I ask mayors not to allow more events involving the death of people or animals," he said.

Mayor Juan Carlos Tamayo said 800 spectators were seated in the sections that collapsed.

Late Sunday, Tolima health secretary Martha Palacios said in a press conference that 322 people had gone to local public and private hospitals after the collapse seeking treatment. Palacio said the minor who had died was an 18-month-old baby.

The bullfight was part of a cultural festival honouring Saints Peter and Paul, who were apostles of Jesus Christ and Christian martyrs. A city council member, Ivan Ferney Rojas, issued a statement saying the local hospital had been overrun and asking for assistance from surrounding areas to treat the injured.

Municipal authorities did not immediately say what caused the collapse, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported.

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