More than 300 people have been injured, five seriously, after a seafront promenade collapsed at the O Marisquiño music and urban sports festival in Vigo, Galicia. The accident occurred after midnight when the promenade As Avenue, a wooden platform suspended by concrete pilings, collapsed into the water. In a matter of seconds, hundreds of young festival-goers, many of them minors, slipped down the 40-meter-long platform and into the water. The victims were trapped in the sea, unable to swim as more people fell on top of them.
The chaotic scenes continued into the night as parents arrived to try to find their traumatized children. According to the latest report from the Galician regional government, more than 300 people were injured and taken to different hospitals across the city. At least five were seriously injured and remain in hospital, including two minors. Municipal authorities, however, have assured that no one’s life is in danger. After checking the area with thermal cameras, firefighters also confirmed that there were no fatalities and that no one remains trapped in the wreckage.
Vigo Mayor Abel Caballero, who just on Saturday criticized the safety of the popular tourist area, has announced an investigation into why the promenade collapsed. The president of Vigo’s port authority, Enrique López Veiga, told Spanish radio network Cadena SER that the concrete pilings “probably” collapsed because of the “excess of weight.” The investigation will look to determine which of the two administrations is responsible for maintaining the promenade, which is located in front of the port’s passenger docks and was built 20 years ago.
Thousands of people from across Galicia and the country had traveled to Vigo to attend the 18th edition of the three-day O Marisquiño festival. The largest crowds had come on Sunday to watch the international sporting competitions, including the BMX stair descent, the main attraction of the festival. All the competitions and shows, which take place in four different stages and circuits in the port, are free to attend. Last year, 160,000 people attended O Marisquiño.
English version by Melissa Kitson.