2 people die after club floor collapses in South Korea
The floor gave way at the club in the city of Gwangju at about 2 am, pinning people underneath.
GWANGJU, South Korea - An upper floor of a nightclub collapsed on top of dancing revellers in South Korea on Saturday, killing two South Koreans and injuring several foreign athletes competing at the World Aquatics Championships, rescue officials and witnesses said.
The floor gave way at the club in the city of Gwangju at about 2 am, pinning people underneath, a Gwangju Fire Department official said, adding that at least 10 people were injured.
The official did not give an exact number for how many athletes were among the injured.
“We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped five to six metres and everyone started rushing out of the club after that,” said New Zealand men’s water polo team captain Matt Small.
“We ... fell on top of the heads of other people that were beneath us,” he told New Zealand’s Radio Sport.
“Some of them were pretty dire cases,” he said of the injured.
Gwangju, about 330 km 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.
South Korean news agency Yonhap said authorities had confirmed nine foreign athletes were injured - four Americans, two New Zealanders, one Dutch, one Italian and one Brazilian.
All the athletes were water polo players except the Brazilian, they said.
Three athletes were treated in hospital and the remainder went to the athletes’ village medical centre for treatment of minor injuries.
A Gwangju police officer told Reuters two co-owners and two workers at the Coyote Ugly nightclub were being questioned about possible illegal expansion and renovation at the nightclub, and the legality of its licensing process.