Nightclub collapse kills two in South Korea

Fina logo at 2019 world championships in GwangjuImage copyright Reuters

Two people have died and a number are injured, after an internal balcony collapsed at a nightclub in the South Korean city of Gwangju early on Saturday, the local fire service says.

Several athletes at the World Swimming Championships were slightly injured, Yonhap news agency reported.

Two New Zealand water polo players suffered minor injuries.

Two South Koreans were taken to hospital in serious condition and later died, Yonhap reports.

The deceased were 38 and 27, the agency added, without specifying whether they were athletes.

A balcony and staircase inside the Coyote Ugly nightclub collapsed at 02;29 on Saturday (17:29 GMT Friday), while about 370 people were inside.

Several water polo teams were at the club at the time. The club is located near the athletes’ village.

“We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped five or six metres and everyone started rushing out of the club after that,” New Zealand’s men’s water polo captain Matt Small told Radio Sport.

It was “business as usual and then it literally collapsed beneath our feet,” he added.

Members of the Australian water polo team were also in the club.

“All Australian players are safe and escaped without injury,” a statement from Water Polo Australia said.

The 2019 Fina World Swimming Championships end on Sunday.

“Fina deeply regrets the situation and sends its best wishes to any victims of this accident.” said a statement from the world swimming body.

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