Korean nightclub collapse: World Aquatics Championships swimmers injured
In a ghastly incident that took place in a South Korean nightclub, eight athletes taking part in World Aquatics Championships have gotten injured. The horrific accident happened after a balcony collapsed under the weight of party-goers present at the Coyote Ugly Club Unfortunately, the club is close to the athletes' village. The mishap took the lives of two people as 16 others were injured.
An upper floor of the Coyote Ugly Club collapsed on top of dancing revellers in South Korea. The incident killed two South Koreans besides injuring several foreign athletes competing in the event as well. The incident happened in the city of Gwangju around 2:00 AM. The floor plummeted around five metres (16 feet) onto people below.
"We have a total of 16 injured and among them 10 are foreigners. Of the 10, eight are athletes participating in the championships," said Song Gi-ju of the Gwangju Metropolitan Police Agency. The police is investigating the incident. The balcony may have been illegally constructed at the club. Song also added that two local people died.
Out of the eight injured athletes, there are three Americans, two New Zealanders, one Dutch, one Brazilian and one Italian. Police had also said earlier that among the Americans is a male diver and a female polo player. The injured athletes were treated for minor injuries and returned to their accommodation. Another athlete will get stitches on a leg wound.
Meanwhile, a Gwangju Police Officer told Reuters that two co-owners and two workers at the Coyote Ugly Club were being questioned. An illegal expansion and renovation at the nightclub is believed to have taken place. The legality of its licensing process is also in focus.
"This is an awful tragedy. Players from our men's and women's teams were celebrating the women's world championship victory when the collapse," said Christopher Ramsey, CEO of USA Water Polo. "We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped five to six metres and everyone started rushing out of the club after that," said NZ men's water polo team captain Matt Small.
The world body of swimming, FINA issued a statement regarding the accident. "As some Championships' participants were present at the moment of the accident, FINA is carefully monitoring the situation and will activate all measures to ensure health care and assistance is provided whenever necessary. FINA deeply regrets the situation and sends its best wishes to any victims of this accident."