Balcony Collapse Kills 2, Injures 8 Swimming Athletes

8 others are injured in South Korean nightclub
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2019 3:30 PM CDT
Balcony Collapse Kills 2, Injures 8 Swimming Athletes
Police stand outside a nightclub in Gwangju, South Korea, Saturday, July 27, 2019.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A balcony inside a nightclub in South Korea collapsed on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 16, including an American and other athletes at the world swimming championships, officials said. Hundreds were at the nightclub in the southern city of Gwangju when the collapse occurred next to the athletes' village, the AP reports. Two South Korean men died while 16 others were injured, police say. According to a police account, the injured include 10 foreigners, eight of them athletes who were in Gwangju to participate in the swimming championships. Among the athletes were three Americans, two New Zealanders, one Dutch, one Italian, and one Brazilian, a police officer says, requesting anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

He said most had minor injuries but an American female water polo player required surgery. The other two Americans—a man and a woman—are also water polo players, the police officer said. Police say they detained one of the nightclub's co-owners and summoned three other club officials to investigate whether the collapsed balcony was an unauthorized structure. "This is an awful tragedy," says Christopher Ramsey, CEO of USA Water Polo. "...Our hearts go out to the victims of the crash and their families." Among the Americans, Kaleigh Gilchrist suffered a deep left leg laceration and underwent surgery at a hospital in Gwangju, Paige Hauschild suffered lacerations on the right arm, and Johnny Hooper on the left hand that required stitches.

(More fatal accident stories.)

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