At least four people died and several hundred were injured in the collapse of a grandstand during a bullfight in the thornl, in central Colombia, according to local media reports. Films shared online show the wooden grandstand crowded with spectators collapsing inside the arena and people fleeing in panic. The incident occurred during a ‘corraleja’, an event during which the public is allowed members of the public are encouraged to enter the arena and challenge the bulls. There are fears that the death toll could rise.
According to the Civil Protection of Tolima among the injured there are children, women, men and the elderly who participated in the event. The moment of the collapse was captured in a video in a recording in which the collapse of several segments of the structure, evidently inadequate to support the weight of hundreds of people, can be seen. After the accident in Espinal, a state of alert was declared to manage the emergency: the testimonies speak of hospital structures in collapse.
Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro expressed the hope today that “all the people involved in the collapse of some of the stands of an El Espinal arena will be able to survive their injuries.” The incident, which involved at least eight stages of the arena ‘Gilberto Charray’, has a provisional toll of five dead and many injured, and via Twitter Petro recalled that “something similar had happened some time ago in Sincelejo”. The future head of state, who will take office on 7 August, also “urged the municipalities not to authorize more shows that may involve the death of animals or people”.