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Four killed when stands collapse during Colombian bullfight

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (AP) – Part of the wooden stands collapsed during a bullfight in central Colombia Sunday, sending spectators plunging to the ground and killing at least four people and injuring hundreds, authorities said.

The disaster took place in a stadium in the city of El Espinal in Tolima state 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 multi-storey section of the stands collapsing as people screamed.

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

Mayor Juan Carlos Tamayo said 800 spectators were seated in the sections that collapsed.

Late on Sunday, Tolima health secretary Martha Palacios told a press conference that 322 people had gone to local public and private hospitals after the collapse seeking treatment. Palacio said the minor who had died was an 18-month-old baby.

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

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

Spectators agglomerate around the wooden stands that collapsed during a bullfight in El Espinal, Tolima state, Colombia. PHOTO: AP