Referee Thomas Leonard had to suspend a football match in the 16th minute, after 29 fans got injured on Saturday after a football stadium barrier collapsed in northern French city of Amiens, as Lille fans celebrated their opening goal against Amiens.
Red Cross and emergency workers rushed to help the injured after several tumbled about one and a half metres (five feet), and were crushed by other fans who fell on top of them. Injuries included head, chest and abdominal trauma.
“It happened all of a sudden. I don’t even know who scored. It just suddenly fell on me. I couldn’t hear anything, I couldn’t see anything and then the emergency workers took me away,” said Georges Penel, a 21-year-old Lille fan who suffered injuries to his leg and back.
The team’s fans behind the goal surged forward to celebrate the goal against Amiens, a regional rival that has just been promoted to the top flight in French football, when the fence gave way under the pressure. Built in 1999, the Stade de la Licorne (“Stadium of the Unicorn”) is the smallest of the 20 French Ligue 1 clubs, with a capacity of only 12,000.
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