Sports

Fans seriously hurt as barrier collapses at French top-flight football game

The Ligue 1 fixture between Amiens and Lille was abandoned following the accident, which occurred when Lille fans were celebrating a goal. Reports say several people have been seriously injured.

Frankreich Verletzte nach Tribünenunglück in Amiens (Getty Images/AFP/F. Lo Presti)

Several Lille fans have been seriously hurt after a stadium barrier collapsed during their French Ligue 1 game at Amiens on Saturday, with media reports saying between 18 and 29 people were injured in total, four of them seriously.

A fence separating Lille fans from the pitch gave way as fans surged forward to celebrate a goal against Amiens, a regional rival just been promoted to the top flight in French football.

Several tumbled about one and a half metres (five feet) and were crushed by fellow fans who fell on top of them.

Referee Thomas Leonard suspended the match in the 16th minute as Red Cross and emergency workers rushed to help the injured, but the fixture was later abandoned.

The fixture was interrupted in the 16th minute and later abandoned after a fence separating fans from the pitch gave way as the visiting Lille supporters celebrated a goal by Fode Ballo-Toure.

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.

France was the scene of a major stadium disaster in 1992 when 18 people died after a temporary stand collapsed at Bastia's French Cup semifinal against Marseille in Corsica. 

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