RIO DE JANEIRO, AFP
Worn and rusty fencing caused more than 100 injuries at the Brazilian championship final at the Sao Januario stadium on Saturday night, police said here on Sunday. Commissioner Alvaro Lins, who has ordered a police investigation, confirmed to Brazilian press that the welded points that held the fence had worn away, causing sections of it to fall on to masses of spectators. The second leg meeting of Vasco da Gama and Sao Caetano was halted and then eventually abandoned by referee Roberto Godoi on the orders of the Governor of Rio De Janeiro Anthony Garotinho after 23 minutes with the score at 0-0.
Police added the accident could have been avoided if Vasco Da Gama officials had only allowed in the 35,000 authorized fans. Fans at the scene said they had never seen the stadium so full. Lins added that their investigation is expected to take 20 days. A total of 109 people were injured according to official figures, with only two people still in hospital but neither case is critical.