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What happened in the Colombian bullring of El Espinal?

What happened in the Colombian bullring of El Espinal?

At least 4 people died and more than 300 were injured, after the collapse of several boxes in a bullringin El Espinal, Tolima, during the festivities that are taking place during these days in the Colombian people.

On Monday, the Colombian Attorney General’s Office announced a disciplinary investigation against the mayor “for a tragedy in Corraleja.”

The voice of america explains what are the hypotheses that are handled until the moment of the unfortunate event.

Where is El Espinal and what celebrations are held?

El Espinal is a Colombian municipality, located in the department of Tolima, almost three hours from the Colombian capital. In the middle of the year, this department and Huila, located in the center of the country, celebrate the famous festivals of San Juan and San Pedro, which include the Folkloric Festival, the National Bambuco Reign and the International Folklore Exhibition.

In some towns, during the festivities, in addition to parades, cultural and gastronomic displays, the famous corralejas are held which, unlike a bullfight, have no bullfighters here. Only adventurers who face the animal.

What happened on Sunday in El Espinal?

Around one in the afternoon and according to videos of fans broadcast on social networks and different media, the boxes of the Gilberto Charry bullring -made of wood and cane-, collapsed and people fell one on top of the other, towards the ring. , while others who were around ran in panic.

According to the mayor of El Espinal, Juan Carlos Tamayo, eight boxes collapsed, while the spectators enjoyed a corraleja. Each box has capacity for 100 people.

The event left at least four people dead -a 14-month-old baby, two women and a man-, and more than 320 injured. One of the victims died at the scene, while the others perished, after being taken to hospital.

Due to the high number of injured, a red hospital alert was declared in El Espinal and orange in the department of Tolima in order to guarantee hospital care.

According to Major Luis Fernando Vélez, director of the Civil Defense in Tolima, one of the bulls escaped, but was later controlled, while the second animal – which shows videos of those attending the place – shows how it was stabbed by the crowd.

What do the authorities say?

According to the authorities, the fact would be related to the large number of people who were in the place, because for two years, due to the pandemic, there had been no bullfights.

The Colombian Attorney General’s Office announced, through Twitter, that “it will open a disciplinary investigation against the mayor of El Espinal, Tolima, for a tragedy in Corraleja.”

“The president did not respond to the requirements on disaster care action plans carried out. We sympathize with the families of the injured and deceased,” the agency added.

During a press conference, the mayor of the town pointed out on Sunday that before the festivities, the security protocols and resistance tests of the boxes were developed. In addition, he acknowledged that he is exposed to an investigation to clarify what happened.

“Let them do the investigations that are necessary,” he told the local media.

The governor of the department of Tolima, Ricardo Orozco, announced at a press conference that he will issue a decree to urge mayors to suspend activities involving animal abuse between now and December. However, he clarified that the decision remains in the hands of local leaders.

“We are sorry for what happened,” the mayor acknowledged. “Maybe this will lead us to make some decisions, to reflect on the issue.”

For its part, the elected president, Gustavo Petro, on his Twitter account on Sunday: “I hope that all the people affected by the collapse of El Espinal square can come out of their wounds. This had already happened before in Sincelejo. I ask the mayors not to authorize more shows with the death of people or animals.

President Iván Duque did the same, regretted what happened and said that an investigation of the events will be requested.

“We are sorry for 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. We will request an investigation of the events; prompt recovery for the injured and solidarity with the families of the victims. .”, said the Colombian president.

What do the attendees say?

Cristian Lozano, an independent worker who was in the place, along with his aunt, his mother, and his son, told the Colombian newspaper Time that he wanted to “die” when he saw the collapse of the boxes.

“Then I hugged my mother and my 4-year-old son who were with me,” added Lozano, who was beaten and broke his ankle.

Daniel Fernando Mayorga Soto, one of the people who was inside the plaza, told Semana that the people were in an uproar when, from one moment to another, they saw how the box in front of them collapsed.

“I saw how those boxes came and the people who were on the first and second floors were below the people above, that is, how wood, boards, guadua fell on them, how everything fell on those people. I said to myself, these people killed themselves, these people died because look how all that falls on them,” said the witness.

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Written by Editor TLN

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