At least 225 people were injured, six of them seriously, after a makeshift viewing gallery collapsed during a football tournament in southern India, police said on Sunday.
Images shared on social media showed a section of the gallery, which was built of wooden planks, giving way and trapping scores in Kerala state’s Malappuram district, late on Saturday.
The sudden collapse spread panic and left football fans with injuries and fractures. Many were rushed to nearby hospitals, local police chief Hidayathulla Mambra said. Several children were also injured.
The gallery could not withstand the weight of a large number of fans and their enthusiasm, Mambra said, adding recent rains in the region could have also weakened the structure.
“There was huge overcrowding. The makeshift gallery could hold only 3,500 people at the maximum, but it is believed that almost 8,000 people turned up to watch the match,” he added.
Videos circulated on social media showed angry spectators after the accident, stomping on the trophies that were to be presented to the teams.
The organizers did not restrict the crowd, even after seeing that the gallery stands were full, domestic media reported.
Police said they had lodged a complaint against the organizers for endangering public safety and would make arrests soon.