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Soccer Fans Hurt in Railing Fall

October 29, 2002

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SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ A stadium railing collapsed minutes before a soccer game, sending dozens of fans hurtling from the grandstands into an empty concrete moat and injuring about 30, police said Tuesday.

The accident began when fans scuffled and threw rocks at police before Monday night’s game between first-division rivals Guarani and Ponte Preta in Campinas, about 55 miles from Sao Paulo.

In the melee, police trapped fans against a railing, which buckled and collapsed. Many fell about 14 feet into the concrete moat that separates the grandstands from the field.

Most of the injured received first aid at the stadium, while a few were taken to a hospital with broken bones, police said.

Guarani reserved only a small number of seats in the stadium for rival fans.

The game was delayed for 15 minutes while the injured fans were removed and the area was isolated. Ponte Preta won 4-2 to move into sixth place while Guarani remained in 10th.

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