Suryapet: At least 100 spectators were injured on Monday evening when a gallery stand collapsed minutes before a national-level Kabaddi championship was to be inaugurated in Suryapet, police said.
Twenty of them are known to be critical, according to local reports.
More than 5,000 spectators thronged the 47th junior national Kabaddi event held here, organized by the Telangana Kabaddi Association in association with the Kabaddi Association of Suryapet district at the district police grounds.
The event was to be inaugurated by state energy minister G Jagadish Reddy at the district police grounds in the town. State sports minister V Srinivas Goud was also present on the occasion.
According to Suryapet district superintendent of police R Bhaskaran, preliminary investigations revealed that the incident happened when the gallery stand was overcrowded with more than the capacity crowd of spectators.
The injured were immediately shifted to Suryapet government hospital and a few critically injured are being taken to hospitals in Hyderabad.
An eyewitness told the local reporters that three different galleries were constructed with wooden planks and iron bars, each at a height of 20 ft and a width of 240 feet.
“The total capacity of each stand is around 1500. However, there was a heavy rush at the event and the spectators occupied the gallery more than its capacity, which led to the collapse of the stand all of a sudden,” he said.
Over 1500 participants from 29 states were taking part in the sports event, being organized in Telangana for the first time. The matches are being conducted on synthetic kabaddi mats on league-cum-knock out format under floodlights on all four days.