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Athletes present as nightclub blankets collapse in Gwangju



James Sutherland contributed to this report.

The roof of Coyote Ugly Nightclub Gwangju, South Korea, collapsed in the early hours of Saturday with attending athletes, sources SwimSwam said. The club is one of two clubs near the athletic village.

The incident is thought to have resulted in several serious injuries and deaths, and one local source said that "lots of blood" was present. We did not confirm this information about the staff involved, except that athletes, including some swimmers, were present.

Update: According to Yonhap News, the club's second floor collapsed at around 2:40 am Water polo player was among the injured. A source tells SwimSwam that the player has a broken leg.

The US Water Polo gave SwimSwam the following statement confirming that some of its players were present:

The athletes of the Polo A national team were present. All US water polo athletes are safe and will be considered. Our thoughts are with everyone involved.

Breaking New Agency Korea tweeted at around 5:00 pm local time that a structural collapse in Gwangju resulted in one death and 1

3 injuries. This estimate has been increased to 14.

In the video below, screams are heard as those present try to hold the ceiling up.

Update:

The South Korean news agency Yonhap cites a source that was present at the time and estimated an estimated 20 foreigners who appeared to have participated in the World Championships at the bar at the time of the collapse. Yonhap also reports that 3 water polo players, who were slightly injured on collapse, returned to the athletes' village. The women's water polo competition at the 2019 World Championships is over. Men's classification matches take place on Saturday afternoon and evening in Gwangju.

Update:

According to reports, a Dutch water polo player injured her hand in the incident.

Yonhap News has increased the number of deaths from one to two and estimates that 370 people were present when the roof collapsed. They also reported that 200 meters of the club were illegally extended and that the "crumpled structure was also an illegal extension".

USA Swimming has confirmed that no American swimmers were injured.

A source also reported that the two injured were killed no athletes.

Update: FINA statement

FINA has issued a statement on the incident:

"FINA has been informed that in the early hours of 27 July 2019 an unfortunate accident took place in an athletes' village in a facility 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju (KOR).

Since some participants of the championships were present at the time of the accident, FINA closely monitors the situation and will take all measures FINA deeply regrets the situation and sends its best wishes to all victims of this accident.

Update:

BBC reports that there are actually two dead and "more than 10" injured in South Korea. The two locals were hospitalized before their death in serious condition. They were 38 and 27 years old and not athletes.

They also reported that two New Zealand water polo players had suffered minor injuries and a US-team diver and water polo player were slightly injured.

"This is a terrible tragedy. " said Christopher Ramsey Head of the US Water Ball.

"Players of our men's and women's teams celebrated the Women's World Cup victory when the collapse occurred in a public club. Our hearts go to the victims of the crash and their families.

Another source also provided some information about the structural integrity of the building and told SwimSwam that it had a second floor halfway up the main road floor, which was unsustainable and collapsed due to the weight. It was assumed that at the time of the collapse, 370 people were in the club.

British Swimming has issued a statement confirming that no members of the British Water Team were present or involved in the incident.


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