Velo­drome built for Rio Olympics dam­aged by fire

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The velo­drome built for last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics suf­fered mi­nor fire dam­age yes­ter­day when it was struck by a small, hand-made hot-air bal­loon. Po­lice ini­tially kept pho­tog­ra­phers and re­porters from get­ting close to the build­ing in the Olympic Park, but charred ar­eas could be seen on the roof of the struc­ture. The Brazil­ian sports min­istry con­firmed the in­ci­dent with no in­juries re­ported. In a state­ment it said the dam­age was be­ing eval­u­ated. De­spite be­ing il­le­gal, the re­lease of the hand-made bal­loons is com­mon in Brazil. The bal­loons of­ten cause fires when they land. The in­ci­dent took place just a few days short of the one-year an­niver­sary of the Rio Games, which opened on Aug 5. The velo­drome cost about $45 mil­lion and, like a half-dozen other sports are­nas in the Olympic Park, is strug­gling to find a use. Many of the are­nas are boarded up, and the park in sub­ur­ban Barra da Ti­juca is largely va­cant with few ameni­ties for visi­tors. —AP

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