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68 supporters suffer injury as barrier collapses at El Sadar

68 supporters suffer injury as barrier collapses at El Sadar

The incident took place in the 12th minute of the match as the home fans celebrated Oriol Riera's opener. Several supporters were carried away on stretchers.

Several fans were injured after a stadium barrier collapsed at El Sadar during Osasuna's match against Real Betis on Sunday evening.

The incident took place when Oriol Riera's 12th-minute goal gave Los Rojillos the lead, the barrier giving way under the weight of the celebrating home supporters. The game was temporarily suspended as several spectators were carried away on stretchers.

The players of both teams were involved in attending to the affected spectators, and referee Juan Martínez Munuera opted to temporarily put on hold the encounter, which was later restarted after a 35-minute stoppage. With top-flight survival at stake, the situation prompted the decision to delay the other three 18:00 kick-offs (Rayo Vallecano-Getafe, Real Valladolid-Granada and Almería-Athletic), to allow all four second halves to run concurrently.

A total of 68 people were injured in the incident, 10 of whom were taken to hospital, according to Osasuna on the basis of reports provided by the Red Cross in Navarre. The most serious injury was an open fracture of the femur. The others were injuries to elbows, wrists or knees. There was brief concern over the state of one of the supporters involved, who momentarily suffered breathing problems caused by a panic attack, however there were no cases of asphyxia or crushing. The Red Cross attended to all those who weren't taken to hospital at the stadium. 

Miguel Achanco, Osasuna president, denied that there had been a failure of security, but admitted there had probably been more people in the section, the graderío sur, than permitted, with fans having jumped into the section, known to be the noisiest and most animated in El Sadar, from other sections. Many fans were seen sitting on the barrier that collapsed.

"The security hasn't failed. I won't say there weren't too many people, but we put security guards there and we ask for the tickets... I saw there lots of fans in there, but if you send the security guards in there's an even bigger fuss. The responsibility is of each person, there is a risk. Today there was nothing worse than a broken femur, but it could have been a lot worse".

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