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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 08:25 GMT
Seven Brazil football fans killed
Brazil stadium
Several people fell through a hole which appeared in the upper stands
Seven people are now known to have died after part of a stadium in north-east Brazil collapsed towards the end of a football match, police say.

A number of people fell through a gaping hole in one of the highest areas of the stands at the Fonte Nova stadium in the city of Salvador in Bahia.

Fans were celebrating the promotion of their team to the second division.

Salvador is a candidate to stage matches at the 2014 World Cup, awarded last month to Brazil.

Wild celebrations

The accident at the Fonte Nova stadium happened when an elevated section of the concrete stand gave way just 10 minutes before the end of the game between Bahia and Vila Nova - a team from the nearby state of Goias.

Bodies lying on the street after the accident
Those killed fell to their death from at least 40m (130ft)

Images from the scene showed a gaping hole and a drop of at least 40m (130ft) to the street below.

Several hundred fans were in the area of the accident, jumping up and down in celebration, as Bahia looked likely to secure the 0-0 draw that would guarantee them promotion.

Around 60,000 people were reported to be in the stadium and many were unaware of the tragedy until after the game had finished.

The match finished 0-0, prompting supporters to invade the pitch in celebration.

The governor of Bahia state, Jacques Wagner, ordered the closure of the stadium while the authorities investigate the causes of the accident.

Many of the football stadiums in Brazil are old and need repair and the stadium in Salvador is believed to have opened in 1951, although it underwent a refurbishment some 20 years later, our correspondent says.

If the city is chosen to stage matches at the 2014 World Cup tournament, there are plans to build a new stadium.

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