Dozens hurt as circus seating collapses

Twenty-eight people were injured when seating at a Lisbon circus collapsed.

The accident happened on Saturday evening when a section of benches seating 200 spectators at Chen Circus near Lisbon’s Gare do Oriente station gave way.

All of the 28 involved suffered slight injuries.

The incident at the circus, one of the most popular in Portugal, is being investigated by the police.

Miguel Chen, the millionaire owner of the circus, said in interviews on television stations on Saturday night that “someone had removed pieces that had secured the seating structure causing the collapse”.

Spectators who witnessed the event said they saw people falling and screaming, while trying to crawl out from under collapsed benches.

Miguel Chen said that the possibility of sabotage “couldn’t be ruled out” but refused to point the finger at who could have unfastened the bench stays.

The emergency services, who arrived at the scene within minutes of the accident happening at around 7.30pm, treated 22 adults and six children for shock and minor cuts and bruises.