At least four people were killed and more than 300 injured on Sunday when the grandstand at a bullring in Colombia collapsed during a popular event at which members of the public face off with small bulls, officials said.
“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 in the central city of El Espinal.
A full three-story section of wooden stands filled with spectators collapsed, throwing dozens of people to the ground, according to images broadcast on social media.
Another video taken by someone at the scene showed people trying to escape from the stands while a bull continues to roam in the arena.
Hospitals in the region reported having treating about 322 injured people, four of whom are in intensive care, Tolima Health Secretary Martha Palacios said.
Local civil defense official Luis Fernando Velez said they did not know how many people were still buried in the debris, but noted that the section of stands was full when it collapsed.
The event was part of celebrations surrounding the San Pedro festival, the most popular in the region.
“We will request an investigation of the facts about what happened,” Colombia’s outgoing President Ivan Duque said on Twitter, expressing his solidarity with the families of those killed and hurt.
Orozco said the departmental government would move to ban the so-called “corralejas” in which residents try their luck in the ring, saying they were dangerous and promoted animal abuse.
On Saturday, several people were injured in accidents at the corralejas in El Espinal, which is home to about 78,000 people, and is located about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the capital Bogota.
Another person died earlier this month after being gored by a bull during a corraleja in the town of Repelon.
President-Elect Gustavo Petro, who will take office on August 7, joined Orozco in calling for the amateur bullfights to be banned.
When he served as mayor of Bogota, the leftist Petro put a stop to bullfights in the city’s signature bullring, La Santamaria.
While animal abuse is a crime in Colombia, bullfights and cock fights are protected because of the cultural history behind them.
Madrid to host charity bullfight for matadors left jobless by coronavirusCrowds will return to Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic next month for a charity bullfight ... Coronavirus
Colombia elects former guerrilla Petro as first leftist presidentLeftist Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, who has vowed profound social and economic change, won Colombia’s presidency on ... World News
Italian police hit Colombian drug gang, seize tonnes of cocaine valued at $257 mlnItalian police have seized 4.3 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of 240 million euros ($257 million), dealing a heavy blow to the Colombian Clan ... World News
Mudslide in Colombia kills at least 14, injures 34At least 14 people died and 34 were injured in a mudslide triggered by heavy rains in Colombia on Tuesday, the national disaster agency said.The early ... World News
Nine killed in Colombia army raid on Gulf Clan drug cartelAt least nine people were killed Tuesday in northwestern Colombia in an army raid on the Gulf Clan drug cartel, whose commander was captured last ... World News
Colombia’s Clan del Golfo gang network, including Arabs, extends to 28 countriesColombian authorities are focused on breaking up the Clan del Golfo gang - whose network extends to 28 countries around the world - after the capture ... World News
Three Colombian soldiers killed in ‘retaliation’ for drug lord Otoniel’s arrestThree Colombian soldiers were killed and three injured in an attack the army said on Tuesday was executed by the Gulf Clan drug trafficking gang in ... World News
Colombia captures Otoniel, drug kingpin and gang leaderColombia's armed forces have captured Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, in the biggest blow to drug trafficking in the Andean country since the ... World News
Colombian businessman Alex Saab extradited to US: Justice departmentAlex Saab, a fugitive Colombian businessman accused of acting as a money launderer for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime, has been ... World News