Five people have died and dozens were injured following the collapse Sunday afternoon of several boxes at a Colombian bullring in El Espinal, in the department of Tolima, 157 kilometers south of Bogota.
We are sorry for the terrible tragedy registered in El Espinal, Tolima, during the festivities of San Pedro and San Juan, due to the collapse of boxes... We will ask for an investigation of the facts; speedy recovery to the injured and solidarity with the families of the victims, President Iván Duque said on Twitter.
#Corralejas Derrumbe de gradería de varios niveles en El Espinal, Tolima, centro de Colombia, deja hasta ahora saldo de 5 fallecidos y + de 500 heridos reporta el diario El Tiempo. Ocurrió en una plaza construida con madera, para una corraleja, versión local de corridas de toros. pic.twitter.com/EdjzeBJpcZ— La Tabla (@latablablog) June 26, 2022
After the tragedy, Tolima Governor Ricardo Orozco ordered all mayors in his jurisdiction to halt these festivities. He had also pressed for these events to be banned, citing animal abuse.
According to media reports, some 60 people, including children, needed medical attention, while Caracol Radio also reported some people were missing.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to control people who [act] irresponsibly, said El Espinal official Ever Sarmiento.
Colombia's President-elect Gustavo Petro, whose inauguration is scheduled for August 7, called for the suspension of this type of event: I hope that all the people affected by the collapse of the plaza in El Espinal can get out of their injuries. This has happened before in Sincelejo. I ask the mayor's offices not to authorize any more shows with the death of people or animals, Petro said on Twitter.
The latest reports from Tolima authorities mentioned as many as 250 people had been injured, due to which a Hospital Red Alert has been declared in the area, while Health Secretary Martha Palacios Uribe was monitoring the situation on-site.