At least 13 die amid 93mph-wind Argentina storm, as sports club roof collapses during roller-skating display

17 December 2023, 10:39

File photo of a storm in Buenos Aires
File photo of a storm in Buenos Aires. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

At least 13 people have died after a sports club collapsed in Argentina amid 95mph winds.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The storm hit the coastal city of Bahia Blanca and blew down the roof of the Bahiense del Norte Club.

A roller-skating display was taking place at the club at the time of the tragedy, at about 8pm local time on Saturday.

Another 11 people were said to be seriously injured in the city, which is about 400 miles south of capital Buenos Aires.

Local mayor Federico Susbielles said: "It is with great pain that I have to say that the deaths of 13 people have so far been confirmed," he said.

“We ask the public to take extreme care and not travel on public roads."

He added: "Faced with the catastrophe in the city, the entire government team, together with the police, civil defence, traffic chiefs, firefighters and the army, are working to assist those who need it."

Local officials said: “Multiple injuries are reported from roof collapses and roofs being blown away, some extremely serious.

“The most complex incident has taken place at the Bahiense del Norte Club.

“Medical emergency and civil defence teams are working at the scene...

"The weather conditions are now improving with the passing of the storm front."

Footage shared on social media showed shocking storm conditions, with locals describing it as a "tornado".

Argentina president Javier Milei said: "I deeply regret the victims that this storm caused in Bahía Blanca and I send my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those affected.

"We will provide information as we have it.

"We ask everyone who is in risk areas to stay in their homes."

His office added in a tweet: "The national government is monitoring the delicate situation generated by the electrical storm in the province of Buenos Aires.

“We recommend that the population check the meteorological service and, if necessary, stay in their homes during the early hours of the morning.

“The wind gusts exceeded 150kmh (93mph) in Bahía Blanca and an orange alert is in place in different areas of the province of Buenos Aires.

“At this moment, the National Cabinet is working together with the provincial and municipal authorities to assist the victims and control the damage.”