Australian athletes caught up in fatal Korean club balcony collapse

After unpredictable world championships Americans see Tokyo Games should pack a punch

After unpredictable world championships Americans see Tokyo Games should pack a punch

Terrifying scenes have unfolded at nightclub in South Korea after a balcony collapse that left at least one person dead.

A total of nine athletes were reported injured.

"All of the US divers have already left Gwangju, so none of them would have been at the nightclub", Lowery said.

Among the injured athletes at the club include 2 from New Zealand, 4 from the United States, and 1 each from the Netherlands, Italy, and Brazil.

Ramsey added that all the American water polo players were "safe". The other two Americans - a man and a woman-are also water polo players, the police officer said.

The South Korean city has been hosting the World Aquatic Championships.

"We are aware of an incident occurring at a nightclub in Gwangju overnight and sending our thoughts to all involved", a Swimming Australia statement said. Around 200 meters of the internal balcony was illegally expanded, and the section that did collapse was a part of the illegally expanded structure.

The body's chief executive, Mr Christopher Ramsey, said the incident was "an very bad tragedy".

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"Although this was an unexpected accident that occurred in a club, there were some athletes participating in the World Championships among the injured", said Je Soong-ja, director of sports department for the Gwangju organizing committee. "Our hearts go out to the victims of the crash and their families".

Three other American water polo athletes also suffered injuries when a second-floor interior balcony collapsed inside the club: Paige Hauschild, a 19-year-old University of Southern California student, required stitches for lacerations on her right arm; Johnny Hooper, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, required stitches on his left hand; and 21-year-old Ben Hallock, who was a member of the US team at the 2016 Olympics, suffered minor scraped on his legs. Ben Hallock suffered minor scrapes. He said none of the injured is in life-threatening condition.

A general view of damage inside of the Coyote Ugly nightclub in Gwangju, South Korea.

New Zealand men's team captain Matt Small told Radio Sport he was standing on the balcony when it fell. "But everyone's a bit shaken up at the moment".

"We did what we could but we couldn't really do too much".

"We were more so just concerned about everyone else, we were trying to do a number count and make sure all the boys were there".

They were treated and released at a local hospital. Another will have stitches on a leg wound Saturday.

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