Worker dies in stadium roof collapse

July 7, 2011

A construction worker died and 14 others were injured Thursday when the roof of a Dutch soccer stadium collapsed.

One worker died in the accident at the home of Dutch top-tier side FC Twente in the northeastern city of Enschede, the local mayor said.

"It is terrible. One person has died and 14 others were injured. Ten of them were taken to hospital. Two of those are seriously injured," Peter den Oudsten said at a news conference.

The mayor said more people could be trapped in the debris. A major rescue operation was ongoing involving emergency crews and a medical helicopter, local newspaper De Twentsche Courant reported.

An eyewitness said construction workers were on the roof when it collapsed around midday, and those below it ran for their lives. The witness described the roof as collapsing "like a house of cards."

Roads around the stadium were closed to make way for emergency crews.

The roof collapsed when two supporting beams failed during work to build an additional tier onto the stadium. The mayor said the cause of the accident was not known.

Pictures from the scene showed the collapsed red roof entirely covering one end of the steep stadium.

FC Twente won the Dutch soccer title in 2010, and was the second-placed side last season. It also competed in the UEFA Champions League, European soccer's top competition, last season.

The stadium, called De Grolsch Veste, opened in 1998 with a capacity of 24,000 people. It was being expanded after FC Twente's recent success.