Four fans se­ri­ously in­jured as bar­rier col­lapses in Ligue 1 derby

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Football -

Four sup­port­ers were se­ri­ously in­jured, and 21 oth­ers hurt, when a bar­rier col­lapsed at the front of a stand con­tain­ing away sup­port­ers in the French Ligue 1 derby be­tween Amiens and Lille last night.

The match was aban­doned and the sta­dium evac­u­ated after a se­cu­rity meet­ing.

The col­lapse oc­curred in the 16th minute as Lille fans cel­e­brated Fode Ballo-Toure’s opener in a game that is al­ways fiercely con­tested be­tween clubs who are around 60 miles apart.

As Ballo-Toure ran to­wards the fans, em­brac­ing two team-mates, tele­vi­sion footage showed sup­port­ers jump­ing up and down and surg­ing for­wards.

As they rushed down the stand, the front bar­rier ap­peared to give way, caus­ing those at the front to fall on to the pitch and oth­ers to tum­ble down after them.

Dozens fell on to the pitch, trapped be­tween the ad­ver­tis­ing boards and other sup­port­ers com­ing down on top of them.

The match was im­me­di­ately halted as the emer­gency ser­vices started to tend to the in­jured. Most sup­port­ers were able to get back into the stand, but sev­eral re­mained on the ground and were treated while four were taken to hos­pi­tal. Ref­eree Thomas Leonard sent the two teams back to the chang­ing rooms,

Somme pre­fect Philippe De Mester said 25 peo­ple were in­jured, four of them se­ri­ously. “Their life is not in dan­ger,” he told LCI chan­nel.

De Mester con­firmed the sta­dium was be­ing re­fur­bished, but in­sisted the paint­ing and roof­ing work had nothing to do with the col­lapse.

“After a Lille goal, the Lille fans cel­e­brated and hud­dled against a bar­rier that col­lapsed,” an­other of­fi­cial told Reuters.

After the in­jured were treated, Lille play­ers and coach Marcelo Bielsa re­turned to the pitch to salute the sup­port­ers still in the stands.

Amiens wrote on their of­fi­cial club Twit­ter page: “The au­thor­i­ties are evac­u­at­ing the wounded. Thoughts with the wounded.”

In 1992, 18 peo­ple were killed in Cor­sica when a stand col­lapsed at the Ar­mand Ce­sari Sta­dium be­fore a French Cup game be­tween hosts Bas­tia and Mar­seille.

Chaos: Fans tum­ble on top of each other after a bar­rier col­lapsed in Amiens (above); Lille sup­port­ers and play­ers cel­e­brate Fode Ballo-Toure’s goal sec­onds be­fore the col­lapse of the bar­rier (right)

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