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Loud noise probably sparked MGM stampede that injures 60

Reported by: Antonio Castelan
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Updated: 5/06 7:14 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Sixty people were treated for injuries Saturday night in a stampede in a hallway just outside the MGM Grand Garden.

The mass casualty situation happened at about 10:45 p.m., just after the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana title fight ended.

The Clark County Fire Department confirmed that 60 people were treated for injuries.

According to Eric Poleski, battalion chief for the fire department, 24 people were taken to local hospitals. Most were leg injuries, and those affected ranged in age from children to the elderly. The most serious injury was sustained by a woman in her mid 30s who suffered from a bad leg laceration.

Poleski confirmed that a stampede-like crowd motion had taken place, sparked by fans mistaking a loud noise for a gunshot.

"What happened was a temporary wall had fallen over and it made a loud bang and people assumed that shots were fired, so they started stampeding," Poleski said.

More than 16,000 people were in the arena.

People were seen jumping over roped barriers and walls and knocking over security checkpoints and tables.

Steinbeck said two engines, four rescue units and about two dozen private ambulances were involved in handling the injured.

MGM STATEMENT

MGM spokeswoman Yvette Monet released the following statement early Sunday afternoon:

"Following Saturday's boxing event at the MGM Grand Garden, guests exiting the arena were apparently startled by a loud noise, sending many rushing to clear the area. The source of the noise remains undetermined. Investigators have found no evidence of gunfire, as reported by some media outlets.

"MGM Grand Security and Metro Police who were already on the scene responded quickly to assist. Twenty-four injured guests were transported to local hospitals for assessment.

"Our staff continues to assist guests and take reports regarding the incident. Safety is always a priority at our resort. We are investigating the situation thoroughly to understand more completely what occurred, to assist those affected, and to ensure further safety precautions."

CLARK COUNTY FIRE RESPONSE

Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said in a statement: "The initial call on the event came at 10:47 p.m. for a gunshot victim near the food court (there was no such victim).

"It was later determined that some sort of wall or partition near the Starbucks in the food court fell over, causing a loud bang. This occurred when the crowd from the Mayweather fight were leaving the Grand Garden Arena.

"The loud bang caused a panic, and multiple people were knocked down and trampled during the panic.

"The event occurred in the food court, but victims migrated throughout the hotel, including their rooms, the hotel lobby, and the security office.

Fire and EMS set up a triage/treatment/transport area and guests were there. EMS 1 called area hospitals to alert them to the situation. About 50 people were assessed by EMS. 24 people were transported by ambulance to area hospitals.

The bulk of the transports were for minor traumatic injuries: strains/sprains, foot and ankle injuries, back injuries, injuries associated with being stepped on, and 1 known leg laceration. The incident was wrapped up by 1 a.m."

VICTIM TALKS ABOUT STAMPEDE

According to Yahoo Sports, fan Dulce Castillo said her 6-year-old son, Braulio, was being taken to the hospital after being trampled.

"I just [felt] like the people [were] over me and I am scared and I am screaming very hard," Castillo told the website. "I said to my brother, 'Help me, help me, please.' My son is with people (on top of him). I thought that we were dying, really."

Yahoo said that former WBA super bantamweight champion Clarence "Bones" Adams and a friend assisted in pulling spectators out of the crush and to safety.

"All of a sudden we heard a loud rumble and people were falling," Adams told the website. "There was no gun shot. But there was nothing that could be done with the people in here. They were all getting hurt. A little kid got trampled on, all the tables were getting turned."

THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE

The Grand Garden Arena access is usually slow-moving and crowded. The hotel was the sight of the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield “Bite Night” bout of Nov. 28, 1997, though the stampede that night was in the hotel lobby.



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