LAS VEGAS – Dozens of people were injured in a stampede sparked by a bang that sounded like a gunshot after a title boxing fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana.
Eric Poleski, battalion chief for the Clark County Fire Department, said 24 people were taken to Las Vegas hospitals after a panicked crowd stormed out the front doors of the MGM’s Grand Garden arena, where the world championship fight had just finished late Saturday.
Poleski said the injured ranged in age from young children to older adults. No serious injuries were reported, but those taken away in ambulances included a young fan rushed to a local children’s hospital.
Witnesses said that after the bang fans flooded out of the arena front doors and into a narrow walkway leading to the casino. With nowhere to go, many were crushed against the side walls or into glass doors that shattered under the weight of the crowd.
The bang was caused by a temporary wall that fell down, Poleski said.
Amid the panic “some guy jumps over my table and hits me on the head. There were a couple of ladies on the floor next to me. It was chaos,” said Carlos, who works as a hotel photographer.
Fans and even former boxers came to aid the injured.
Ex-WBA super bantamweight champion Clarence “Bones” Adams and a friend pulled stricken spectators out of the crush.
Paramedics set up a medical treatment area in the Hecho en Vegas restaurant near the arena.
“All of a sudden we heard a loud rumble and people were falling,” Adams said. “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.”
The only way to not be trampled was to climb on top of the crowd, said witness Chris Hall.
“I got crushed against the wall. I pushed my way up on top. A couple of people got carried away on stretchers,” he said.
This is not the first time that crowds stampede at the MGM after a fight: in 1997 people were trampled after a heavyweight fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, Poleski said.