Four people were killed and hundreds injured when several layers of packed stands in a makeshift bullfighting ring collapsed during a bullfight in central Colombia on Sunday. These numbers may rise in the hours to come as horrified spectators were buried by the debris.
El Espinal, a little village about 95 miles southwest of Bogotá, was the scene of the tragedy.
Social media users instantly shared videos of the collapse. A wounded bull was being teased and played with by a large group of people at the well-known corraleja festival. A sudden collapse of three levels of stands buried hundreds of adults, children, and infants. Some people leapt from their chairs in response to the screams and raced to offer assistance by attempting to push wood and other debris aside.
64-year-old Hector Ortiz found the scene unbelievable. He heard a woman yell, “That balcony is about to fall down!” and he saw eight segments start to collapse one after another, falling like dominoes.
“After the first balcony collapsed, it pulled the next one, and so on, and so on… It was the gate the bulls go through that stopped the collapse. Otherwise we’d be talking about a much bigger tragedy,” Ortiz said to The Washington Post.
The El Espinal mayor’s office and private parties plan celebrations for the Feast of Saint Peter on June 29 every year. A performance that began on the Caribbean coast when Colombia was a Spanish colony is held in the bullring, which was built for that purpose. Contrary to traditional Spanish bullfighting, bulls in a corraleja are typically not killed, and viewers are encouraged to rush about while the animal is still in the ring.
The Popular Show
The numerous floors of the bullring, which was constructed from gadua bamboo, were crowded with onlookers. “A gadua bamboo structure is pretty unstable… Organizers should have foreseen this could happen,” said Luis Fernando Velez, head of the regional civil defense agency.
Velez reported that 50 civil defense volunteers were assisting in the transfer of the 322 injured spectators who were in the most serious condition from the bullring to the town’s only hospital. Police and firefighters were very helpful. The community received a “red alert” from the neighborhood health system.
Iván Duque, the president of Colombia, tweeted his sympathy for the victims and urged a speedy inquiry.
Among the fatalities was a baby who was 14 months old. When the bullring’s structure collapsed, more than two dozen kids who were with their parents inside were hurt or gone, according to Velez. Mayor Juan Carlos Tamayo Salas estimated that the eight stands in question could accommodate 800 people.
The incident brought to mind the Sincelejo corralejas accident in the Caribbean. When the temporary stands there collapsed in 1980, more than 500 people perished and more than 2,000 were injured.
“This had already happened before in Sincelejo… I request local authorities to refrain from authorizing more spectacles with the death of persons or animals,” tweeted President-elect Gustavo Petro, who will take office in August.
When he outlawed bullfighting as mayor of Bogota, Petro aroused controversy. He appeared prepared to fight the same battle on a national level on Sunday.
Ortiz, who was there for the catastrophe on Sunday, declared: “I think this is the end for corralejas in El Espinal.”
vKind is the U.S.’s largest fully-vegan search platform and listing app. Give our search tool a whirl and find any vegan product, service, or experience you desire.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
LEARN ABOUT PEELED, OUR BRAND NEW TV SHOW: VKind is making VEGAN HISTORY by introducing the first and only 100% vegan cooking competition TV show! Be sure to visit our new Peeled website for the latest news, contests, giveaways, and raffles and to get VIP tickets to our Worldwide Premiere on Sept. 24th, 2022! Our exclusive red carpet premiere event will be held in the prestigious Directors Guild of America Theater in Hollywood, CA. Visit PeeledShow.Com now to learn more!
CONTESTS & GIVEAWAYS: Be the first to hear about our latest Giveaways, Contests, and Raffles by following us on Instagram where all of our giveaways are featured.
WATCH & LEARN: We have so much exciting content on our YouTube channel with some amazing new shows! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for our latest shows, live events, interviews, videos, news, secret giveaway contests & more!
GET FEATURED: We would love to publish & promote your delicious vegan recipes on our App, websites, and social media channels. Submit your recipes here!
ADD YOUR LISTING: Are you ready to attract customers and clients hyped on your values and what you offer? We’re all about opening up more possibilities to support small to medium-sized vegan businesses, professionals, and companies, like YOU. Add your listing now!
SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST NEWS: Get exclusive access to the latest vegan businesses, events, and plant-based news hot off the press. Subscribe to our Newsletter.