Velo­drome for Rio Games dam­aged by fire

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS -

RIO DE JANEIRO » The track and roof of the velo­drome built for last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics was dam­aged in a fire Sun­day when the build­ing was struck by a small, hand-made hot-air bal­loon.

A charred area could be seen on the roof of the struc­ture, and shots from TV network Globo showed a 20-30 me­ter (yard) por­tion of wood track sur­face had burned.

The rac­ing sur­face was made of spe­cial Siberian wood, a re­quire­ment that made the velo­drome one of the last venues to be ready for the Olympics.

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 or lanterns 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.

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