Four killed after stand collapses during Colombia bullfight

1 month ago 14

Disaster took place during a traditional event called “corraleja” in which members of the public enter a ring to engage the bulls.

Published On 27 Jun 2022

At least four people have been killed and hundreds more injured in central Colombia when part of a wooden stand collapsed during a bullfight.

The disaster took place in a stadium in the city of El Espinal in Tolima state on Sunday during a traditional event called “corraleja”, in which members of the public enter the ring to engage the bulls.

Videos taken during the bullfight show a three-storey section of the stands collapsing, throwing dozens of people to the ground.

Another video showed people trying to escape from the stands while a bull continues to roam in the arena.

“We have activated the hospital network in Tolima,” Tolima Governor Jose Ricardo Orozco told local Blu Radio. “Four people have died, as of this moment: two women, a man and a minor.”

Regional health authorities said during a press conference late on Sunday that 322 people had gone to local public and private hospitals after the collapse seeking treatment.

Aerial view of the collapsed grandstand in a bullring in the Colombian municipality of El Espinal.Aerial view of the collapsed grandstand in a bullring in the Colombian municipality of El Espinal, southwest of Bogota, on June 26, 2022 [Samuel Antonio Galindo Campos/ AFP]

Orozco said the death and injury figures were still preliminary. He said he had asked for the traditional “corralejas” to be suspended in Tolima earlier on Sunday, after three others were injured in accidents in corralejas in El Espinal the previous day, but this one was held anyway.

The event in El Espinal, which is home to about 78,000 people and located about 150km (93 miles) from the capital, Bogota, was part of celebrations surrounding the San Pedro festival, the most popular in the region.

On Saturday, several others were injured in accidents at corralejas in El Espinal, while another person died earlier this month in the northern town of Repelon after being gored by a bull during a corraleja.

Outgoing President Ivan Duque announced an investigation of Sunday’s disaster.

“We lament the terrible tragedy registered in El Espinal, Tolima, during the festivals of San Pedro and San Juan, with the collapse of the stands during a corraleja,” he said on Twitter. “We will call for an investigation.”

President-elect Gustavo Petro urged local officials to ban such events, noting that it was not the first time an incident had occurred.

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

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