At least two people were killed and many injured after an internal balcony collapsed at a night club in the South Korean city of Gwangju in the early hour on Saturday, according to the local fire service.
Nine of the injured are foreign athletes comprising four from the US, two from New Zealand, one from the Netherlands, an Italian and a Brazilian, although none of them received any serious injuries in the incident in Gwangju city, fire officials said.
While the two killed were identified as South Koreans, most of the victims received minor injuries, except for 17 who suffered major ones, fire officials added.
Two South Koreans were taken to hospital in a serious condition and later died, Yonhap news reported.
New Zealand men’s water polo captain Matt Small said, “We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped five or six metres and everyone started rushing out of the club after that.”
It was “business as usual and then it literally collapsed beneath our feet”, he added.
BBC quoted a statement from Water Polo Australia as saying that, “All Australian players are safe and escaped without injury”.
Christopher Ramsey, US Water Polo head said, “This is an awful tragedy… Our hearts go out to the victims of the crash and their families”.
The club had been renovated recently without official authorization and investigation is underway, according to authorities.