Spectator stands collapse in Colombia during bullfight; at least four dead, hundreds hurt

The bullfight was organized as part of the San Pedro festival, which is one of the most popular cultural events in the region. One of the major highlights of the event are the corralejas, where local residents try their luck at amateur bullfighting

In this image taken from video, spectators are sent plunging to the ground as part of a wooden stand collapses during a bullfight, Sunday, 26 June, 2022, at a stadium in the city of El Espinal in Tolima state, central Colombia. AP

Spectator stands in Colombia’s El Espinal city collapsed during a bullfight, leaving at least four dead and hundreds injured. According to the city’s mayor, 800 people were seated in the sections that collapsed. A video of the horrific incident has grabbed eyeballs across the internet.

According to an AFP report, the governor of Tolima department, Jose Ricardo Orozco, told local radio that “There are four people dead at the moment — two women, a man and a child”. The child was 18 months old.

The Tolima health secretary, Martha Palacios, stated that 322 people had checked into local public and private hospitals for treatment. Emergency personnel were still scouring the area for survivors.

Outgoing Colombian President Ivan Duque stated that he will ensure an investigation of the “terrible tragedy”. He also expressed solidarity with the families of the victims.

President-elect Gustavo Petro, who will take office on 7 August, called on local mayors “to not authorise any more spectacles endangering the lives of people or animals”. He further stated that such incidents had occurred previously as well.

The video shows the bullfight in progress, when some people can be seen running into the arena. The camera then pans to show a full three-story section collapsing. Dozens of people fell to the ground, while others tried to escape from the spot. Watch:

The bull reportedly escaped from the plaza and caused panic in the streets, according to a report in The Guardian. Authorities have not yet revealed what caused the collapse.

The people were participating in the bullfight due to the San Pedro festival, which is one of the most popular cultural events in the region. The festival honors Saints Peter and Paul, who were apostles of Jesus Christ. One of the major highlights of the event are the corralejas, where local residents try their luck at amateur bullfighting.

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