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27th Jun 2022

At least four dead, including a baby, as stand collapses at bullfight in Colombia

Daniel Brown

TW: Injury, death, bullfighting

The incident occurred in the central city of El Espinal

At least four people, including an 18-month-old baby, were killed and as many as 70 people were seriously injured on Sunday when the grandstand at a bullring in Colombia collapsed, officials confirmed. 

The incident occurred in the central city of El Espinal, with footage shared on social media showing a three-storey section of wooden stands filled with spectators collapsing, which threw dozens of people to the floor.

Other videos, posted online by people at the scene, showed people attempting to escape from the stands due to the bull roaming around in the arena.

The event formed part of celebrations surrounding the San Pedro festival, with members of the public facing off with small bulls.

“There are four people dead at the moment – two women, a man and a child,” the governor of Tolima department, Jose Ricardo Orozco, told local radio after the incident.

He added: “There are about 30 people seriously injured… that’s a preliminary report.”

Unclear how many people were ‘buried in the debris’

Local civil defense official Luis Fernando Velez stated that they did not know how many people were still buried in the debris, but said that the section of stands was full when it collapsed.

“We will request an investigation of the facts about what happened,” Colombia’s outgoing President Ivan Duque said on Twitter.

Orozco insisted that the departmental government would move to ban the so-called ‘corralejas’, adding that they were dangerous and promoted animal abuse.

President-Elect calls for amateur bullfights to be banned

The incident comes after another person died earlier this month after being killed by a bull during a corraleja in the town of Repelon. While animal abuse is a crime in Colombia, bullfights and cock fights are permitted due to the ‘cultural history’ behind the events.

President-Elect Gustavo Petro, who will take office in August, backed Orozco in calling for the amateur bullfights to be banned.

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