“I hope that all the people affected by the collapse can come out unscathed from their wounds,” tweeted President-elect Gustavo Petro. “This had already happened before in Sincelejo. I ask the mayors not to authorize more shows with the death of people or animals.”
According to reports, one of the six people killed in the collapse was a 1-year-old child. Over 300 people ended up at local hospitals.
From videos taken at the bullfight, viewers can see members of the public participating in an event known as a “corraleja” where attendees enter the ring to engage the bull. It is considered less formal than bullfights in Spain, and the bulls are not killed at the end.
As people taunted the bull in Plaza de El Espinal stadium, sections of the three-story stands started tipping over into the ring. The bull can be seen roaming around the arena after the accident. Local media reported that the bull escaped the enclosure and went into the nearby street.
The outgoing President tweeted his condolences and said an investigation would take place. “We feel the terrible tragedy recorded in El Espinal, Tolima, during the San Pedro and San Juan festivities, due to the collapse of boxes in a corraleja,” he wrote after the stadium collapse. “We will ask for an investigation of the facts; prompt recovery for the injured and solidarity with the families of the victims.”
Tragic bullfights in Colombia have been happening for decades. Eight people were killed and 200 injured in a similar accident in 1989 in a small town outside Bogotá. There were also accidents in 2006 and 2013.