Tragic: Seven university students fall to death in Bolivia

A couple wait for information about the UPEA (El Alto Public University) accident, where a balcony railing collapsed and at least students fell to their death [David Mercado/Reuters]
A couple wait for information about the UPEA (El Alto Public University) accident, where a balcony railing collapsed and at least students fell to their death [David Mercado/Reuters]

At least seven students have died and five seriously injured when they fell from the fourth floor of a university building in Bolivia after a metal railing gave way on Tuesday, the government said.

Footage of the incident shows students crammed into a narrow passageway trying to enter an assembly hall. A metal railing can be seen giving way under the weight of the pushing and shoving students, with several plummeting to the concrete floor below at the El Alto university near La Paz, others clutched on to fellow students to stop their fall.

“From this accident, seven have died and five are in a critical state, some of them stabilised” in hospitals in the city of El Alto, near La Paz, Health Minister Jayson Auza said. Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo had earlier reported five deaths and three injuries related to the incident, but the total was revised after the Health Ministry reviewed the case details. The injured and deceased were between the ages of 20 and 24, Del Castillo said he had ordered an investigation into the accident.

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