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26 Injured When Tunnel Walls Collapse

March 4, 1991

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) _ A stadium tunnel collapsed Sunday when fans rushed to the walls to watch soccer players enter the field, authorities said. Twenty-six people were injured.

Most of the injured, including three players, were treated at a local hospital for minor scrapes and bruises and released within hours of the incident at Boet Erasmus Stadium, stadium and ambulance officials said.

As the Kaizer Chiefs squad went through the 30-yard tunnel to take the field, fans ran to the tunnel walls to watch, officials said.

Both walls collapsed, sending bricks, concrete and spectators crashing into the tunnel on top of the last of the Chiefs’ players, spokesman Bev Pyke told the South African Press Association. The game went on as scheduled, he said.

Port Elizabeth is on the Indian Ocean, about 650 miles south of Johannesburg.

On Jan. 13, 40 people were killed and dozens injured when a brawl erupted and fans stampeded during an exhibition match near Orkney, 80 miles southwest of Johannesburg.

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