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July 7, 2011
1 dead, 14 injured in Dutch stadium roof collapse
By Martin Meissner
ENSCHEDE, Netherlands — The roof of a Dutch sports stadium partially collapsed during off-season construction work Thursday, killing one person and leaving 10 others hospitalized, some with severe injuries, a local mayor said.
In all, 14 people were injured when the roof at the southern end of the FC Twente stadium collapsed around midday, said Peter den Oudsten, mayor of the Dutch town of Enschede where the stadium is located. Three people were treated at the scene, he said.
Two of hospitalized workers had serious injuries, Den Oudsten said, without elaborating. News video showed at least one construction worker, apparently bleeding from a head wound, being taken away by paramedics.
Den Oudsten said sniffer dogs and cameras were being used to search for anybody else still trapped under the tangle of girders and red roof panels — the color of FC Twente's shirts — behind the goal at the southern end of the Grolsch Veste stadium.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately known. The construction work aimed to increase the stadium's capacity to 30,000 from 24,000 by adding a new tier above existing seating.
FC Twente director Jan van Halst said the club "is terribly upset. Our sympathy goes to the victims."
He appealed to supporters of the soccer team not to visit the stadium while emergency services were still at work.
The FC Twente team, which was the Dutch national champion in 2010 and runner-up last season, was training in the southern province of Zeeland at the time of the collapse.
Twente is in the third qualifying round of next season's Champions League and is scheduled to host a match in Europe's most prestigious club tournament on July 26-27 or Aug. 2-3. The exact date will be decided by UEFA, the European soccer body, next week.
A friendly preseason match between Twente and a team from Zeeland was canceled.
The stadium is on the edge of Enschede, 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Amsterdam.