Club floor collapses in South Korea as athletes dance; two people dead
The upper deck of a nightclub collapsed on top of revelers in South Korea on Saturday, killing two people and injuring several foreign athletes competing at the World Aquatics Championships, rescue officials and witnesses said, reports Trend citing to Reuters.
The floor gave way in the Coyote Ugly nightclub in the city of Gwangju at about 2:30 a.m. (1730 GMT Friday), pinning people underneath and injuring at least 10, rescue officials said.
The two people killed were South Korean.
New Zealand men’s water polo team captain Matt Small said he was on the second-floor deck when it collapsed.
“We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped,” he told New Zealand’s Radio Sport.
“We fell on top of the heads of other people that were beneath us ... Some of them were pretty dire cases,” he said of the injured.
Kim Young-don, chief of the Gwangju Seobu Fire Station, told a briefing there were about 370 people in the club at the time.
“We deem that the second level seems to have collapsed because there were too many people on it,” he said. “The second level is a small space, it’s not a space where a lot of people can be.”
Gwangju, about 330 km (205 miles) south of the capital Seoul, has been hosting the championships, which feature swimming, water polo and diving, over the past fortnight. The meet finishes on Sunday.
Organizers said eight foreign athletes were injured, with seven sustaining minor injuries and one remaining in hospital for treatment of a leg laceration.
Three of the injured athletes were from the United States, two from New Zealand and one each from Italy, the Netherlands and Brazil, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
All but the Brazilian were water polo players, it said.
A Gwangju police officer told Reuters two co-owners and two workers at the nightclub were being questioned about possible illegal expansion and renovation at the nightclub, and the legality of its licensing.