Three American Water Polo Players Injured In Night Club Balcony Collapse That Killed Two People

Illustration for article titled Three American Water Polo Players Injured In Night Club Balcony Collapse That Killed Two People
Photo: Lee Jin-man (AP Photo)

While out celebrating out celebrating the women’s world championship victory, athletes from Team USA’s men’s and women’s water polo team were injured on Saturday after a balcony they were standing on inside a South Korean nightclub collapsed.


Three team members—Kaleigh Gilchrist, Paige Hauschild and Johnny Hooper—suffered lacerations on their bodies as a result of the accident. Gilchrist’s injury warranted a trip to a nearby hospital to undergo surgery, while Hooper needed stitches on his left hand, according to the Associated Press. In total, the collapse injured 16 people, including 10 athletes who had participated in the world swimming championships taking place nearby, and killed two Korean men. There appears to be no video of the incident itself, but someone did capture the scene immediately after the collapse. (Note: nothing in the video is graphic).

New Zealand’s men’s and women’s water polo teams were also in the club the night of the collapse. No one on that team was seriously hurt, but men’s captain Matt Small told a radio station in his home country that the accident alone was still a traumatizing experience.

″(It was) business as usual and then it literally collapsed beneath our feet,” Small said, speaking to New Zealand Radio Sport by phone. “None of the boys are hurt or injured though — so that’s good. But everyone’s a bit shaken up at the moment.”

“We did what we could but we couldn’t really do too much. Some of them were pretty dire cases,” he said. “We were more so just concerned about everyone else, we were trying to do a number count and make sure all the boys were there.”

AP reports that Korean police have already arrested one of the nightclub’s co-owners and served three other club officials to determine if the structure was up to code.