Four dead and dozens injured in Colombia arena collapse: More or less 30 people are seriously injured
Steph Deschamps / June 27, 2022
The stands of a bullring located in the town of Espinal in central Colombia collapsed during a bullfighting show. At least four people died and about thirty people were injured. Rescuers are searching for other victims who may be trapped under the rubble.
At least four people died and about 30 were seriously injured when the bleachers of an arena collapsed Sunday in a central Colombian city.
There are four dead people for the moment. Two women, an adult man and a minor, said Jose Ricardo Orozco, governor of Tolima department, on a local radio station.
The accident took place in the locality of Espinal, at the Gilberto Charry bullring during the holiday weekend when the San Pedro festivities are celebrated, the most popular in the region, and where the public descends into the arena to face oxen and small bulls.
An entire section of the three-story wooden bleachers, packed with spectators, collapsed, throwing dozens of people to the ground.
More or less 30 people are seriously injured (...) this is a preliminary report, they are still transferring the injured, the governor added.
We are still waiting to see how many people are under the rubble, we do not know how many. As you can see in the videos, almost the entire wing was filled with people and it collapsed, Major Luis Fernando Vélez, director of the Civil Protection Department of Tolima, told the same radio station.
The day before, several people were injured by bulls during the same festival in El Espinal, a town of some 78,000 inhabitants located 150 kilometers southwest of Bogota.
The new president Gustavo Petro, elected last weekend and who will take office in early August, added his voice to the call of the local governor I ask the city halls to no longer authorize shows involving the death of people or animals, he commented on Twitter, recalling in passing the death of hundreds of people in the collapse of another arena in the municipality of Sincelejo (north) in 1980.
As mayor of Bogotá (2012-2015), Petro put an end to bullfighting in La Santamaría, the emblematic arena of the capital.
Colombian law punishes animal abuse, but practices such as bullfighting and cockfighting still take place as cultural events.