Updated: 09/04/2014 15:22 | By Agence France-Presse

Vietnam stadium cave-in blamed on 'pitiful' building

A Vietnamese sport official on Thursday blamed "pitiful" construction at an antiquated stadium for a dramatic ceiling collapse midway through an international badminton tournament. 


Vietnam stadium cave-in blamed on 'pitiful' building

A motorcyclist rides past a row of old-style houses along the Saigon river in Ho Chi Minh City in November, 2013 - by Hoang Dinh Nam

Thanks to the quick work of a match referee, no-one was injured when 40 square metres (430 square feet) of plaster ceiling collapsed onto the court in a cloud of debris at the Phan Dinh Phung Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

"It's pitiful. The plaster ceiling was outdated," Le Thanh Ha, head of the badminton section of Vietnam's Sports and Gymnastics Department, told AFP. 

Players and officials left the court moments before the collapse after a Taiwanese player, Lu Chia, spotted dust falling from the ceiling and raised the alarm, state media reported. 

"I looked up and I realised we had to evacuate immediately," Julie Carrel, the main referee in the stadium at the time, told the Tuoi Tre newspaper.

A video clip posted on YouTube showed images of chunks of plaster plunging onto the stadium floor as stunned spectators shouted in horror. 

The tournament, the Vietnam Badminton Open 2014, is continuing after organisers relocated the event to another stadium in the southern Vietnamese city, badminton official Ha said.

According to the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper, the plaster ceiling was installed in 1994 but a renovation plan announced in 2012 was yet to begin. 

The eight-day Vietnam Badminton Open 2014 gathers more than 230 players from 15 countries. It is scheduled to end on Sunday.

The video can be viewed here:

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。