Five Lille fans seriously injured after crush at Amiens
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An investigation was underway on Sunday into the collapse of a barrier at a football match in Amiens, northern France, which left 29 fans injured, five of them seriously.
Lille supporters were celebrating their team’s opening goal against Amiens when a fence separating them the pitch gave way as they surged forward.
Several fell about 1.5 metres and were crushed by other fans who dropped on top of them.
They were taken to hospital suffering suffering from head, chest and stomach injuries.
Referee Thomas Leonard suspended the match in the 16th minute as Red Cross and emergency workers tended the fans. The fixture was eventually abandoned.
"It happened all of a sudden," said Georges Penel, a 21-year-old Lille fan who suffered injuries to his leg and back. "It just suddenly fell on me. I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't see anything and then the emergency workers took me away,"
The incident happened when Lille's Fode Ballo-Toure ran towards the section of visiting fans after scoring the opening goal, prompting a surge that caused the barrier to give way.
Amiens public prosecutor Alexandre de Bosschere said an investigation had been opened into accidental injury, focusing on why the barrier gave way.
"We have put legal seals on the site to bar access to it and an assessment will be carried out in the next few days."
Built in 1999, Amiens’ Stade de la Licorne, has a capacity of 12,000. After Amien’s promotion to Ligue 1 renovation work is taking place throughout the 2017-18 season in order to bring the ground up to a higher standard.