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300 injured in platform collapse at Spanish festival

Of the more than 300 people hurt at O Marisquiño in north-west Spain, five have sustained serious injuries, police have confirmed

By Molly Long on 13 Aug 2018

Performances earlier on in the day at O Marisquiño

Performances earlier on in the day at O Marisquiño


image © O Marisquiño

More than 300 people have been injured after a wooden platform collapsed at O Marisquiño  festival in Spain. As reported by the BBC, five people have sustained serious injuries, though police have confirmed there has been no fatalities.

Witnesses to the incident reported scenes of panic as people fell on top of each other and struggled to free themselves from the wreckage. Due to the positioning of the platform, some victims were thrown into the sea as the structure collapsed. Emergency teams were called, with a specialist diving team equipped with thermal cameras also on the scene to ensure no one remained trapped underwater.

Jesus Vazquez Almuina, health minister for the region spoke to local radio about the extent of the injuries sustained in the accident. “The vast majority are light injuries for bruises. There are five hospitalisations, mainly broken bones and some head injuries.”

Present at the scene, bystander Aitana Alonso told local newspaper Faro de Vigo that the whole ordeal was a matter of seconds. “The floor went down like an elevator,” she recalls.

“The floor went down like an elevator”

“It broke and we all fell in. People were falling on me, I was having trouble getting out. I had people underneath, screaming that I could not get out, I was overwhelmed.

“There was a girl with blood on her head.”

O Marisquiño is a free festival which attracts some 160,000 people across its weekend programme each year. Among the crowd on Sunday night were a number of children and families. Faro de Vigo describes scenes of “children crying disconsolately” and “desperate parents looking for their children.”

Festivalgoers had been standing on the platform, watching Majorcan rapper Rels B perform on the closing night of the event. Local media reports that as the platform began to collapse, the rapper told the crowd to jump off of the structure. Following the event, he tweeted to victims, wishing them “strength” and imploring those still searching for missing relatives or friends to get in contact with emergency services set up by O Marisquiño.

The mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, has said there will be an investigation launched into the causes of the incident. It is not clear yet whether the collapse was the result of overcrowding or a structural problem with the platform itself.

 


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