Baby among four dead as stand collapses at bullfight in Colombia

27 June 2022, 07:41

Four people have died after a wooden stand collapsed at a bullfight in Colombia.
Four people have died after a wooden stand collapsed at a bullfight in Colombia. Picture: Getty

By Sophie Barnett

An 18-month-old baby is among at least four people to have died after wooden stands collapsed during a bullfight in Colombia.

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The tragedy unfolded in the city of El Espinal in Tolima on Sunday during a traditional event called "corraleja", where spectators enter the ring to engage the bulls.

Devastating videos taken during the bullfight show a multi-story section of the stands collapsing as people screamed and ran in horror.

The dead included two women, a man and a child, Tolima Governor Jose Ricardo Orozco said. The region's health official said hospitals had treated 322 people of whom four were in intensive care.

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At least four people were killed and another 30 seriously injured when a full three-story section of wooden stands filled with spectators collapsed, throwing dozens of people to the ground.
At least four people were killed and another 30 seriously injured when a full three-story section of wooden stands filled with spectators collapsed, throwing dozens of people to the ground. Picture: Getty

Hundreds of people were injured in the accident with more than 800 spectators seated in the area where stands collapsed.

Late on Sunday, Tolima health secretary Martha Palacios said the minor who had died was an 18-month-old baby.

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Besides the four dead, another four people were in intensive care and two others recovering from surgery.

Mr Orozco said he had asked for the traditional "corralejas" to be suspended in Tolima earlier on Sunday but this one was held anyway.

The event was part of celebrations of the popular San Pedro festival.

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. Picture: Getty

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

On Saturday several people were injured during corralejas in El Espinal. Earlier this month one person died after being gored by a bull during a corraleja in the town of Repelon.

At least four people were killed and another 30 seriously injured.
At least four people were killed and another 30 seriously injured. Picture: Getty

Mr Orozco said he would move to ban the corralejas, saying they were dangerous and cruel to animals.

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

President Ivan Duque said an investigation into the tragedy will take place.

"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. We will call for an investigation," he said.

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