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Nationwide wreck injures fans

Updated Feb 23, 2013 9:48 PM ET Rea White
At least 28 people were injured — two critically — during the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, officials said, when a car slammed into the catch fence and came apart.

The incident was the result of a last-lap crash in the battle for the win. Kyle Larson’s car was launched into the fence as drivers crashed around him and Tony Stewart took the checkered flag. The suspension and tires from Larson’s car went into the fence, with one tire appearing to sail over it. The front end was sheared off of Larson’s car, but the driver climbed from it.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III confirmed that 14 people were transported off property and an additional 14 were treated in the at-track care center.

“First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans,” Chitwood read from a prepared statement Saturday night. “Following the incident we responded appropriately according to our safety protocols, and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately. … We’re in the process of repairing the facility and will be ready to go racing tomorrow.”

Chitwood said that those injured were located in the section just outside of where Larson’s car hit the fence and the crossover gate. Chitwood declined to give an update on injuries.

Halifax Health spokesman Byron Cogdell said 12 spectators were treated in the hospital’s emergency room, seven from injuries related to the crash – including one with life-threatening injuries and one child in critical condition – and five non-related issues. All patients were stable.

The Associated Press later reported at least 30 were injured, citing local officials.

Chitwood said the track would complete a standard review of the facility on Saturday night.

“At this point as we responded to the incident, we transported immediately to those patients that needed critical assistance,” he said. “We’ll review ourselves in terms of where the debris flew and what we need to do with that.”

The crash happened as the race was coming to an end.

Regan Smith was leading the drafting pack common to races at Daytona – cars running high speeds inches off one another’s bumpers and two- and three-wide. He moved to block Brad Keselowski, who bumped him. He checked up and the cars piled into the incident.

Sam Hornish Jr. hit Keselowski and Larson, who was running sixth at the time, was launched over Keselowski’s car and into the 22-foot tall catch fence about 75 yards from the finish line.

Larson, Smith, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joe Nemechek, Robert Richardson, Trevor Bayne, Mike Wallace, Travis Pastrana, Elliott Sadler, Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, and Justin Allgaier were all involved in the accident. All drivers were evaluated and released from the infield care center.

“I was getting pushed from behind I felt like,” Larson said. “By the time my spotter could say lift or go low, it was too late. I was in the wreck. It felt like it was slowing down. I felt like I could see the ground. I had some flames come into the cockpit but luckily I was all right and could get out of the car quick.

“I took a couple of big hits there and saw my engine was gone. (I) just hope everybody is all right. (I’m) just disappointed.”

Keselowski outlined the accident from his view.

Shake and Bake blog has more on the big crash, including photos and tweets from the track.
“We made a move to try and win the race,” he said. “We were in the catbird seat. Regan was in a good spot. He was first and I was second and we were pushing. I kind of had the run and the move to win the race and Regan obviously tried to block it and that’s understandable. He wants to win too and at the end it just caused chaos. There was obviously a big wreck with a lot of debris and cars torn up. I really hope everyone in the grandstands is OK. I think that’s the most important thing right now.

“From my view, it was a shot to win the race and I had it, and I wanted to get the Discount Tire Ford in Victory. It’s the first run for 2013 at Daytona and I made the move to do it, but it just didn’t turn out right.”

Now, it’s up to NASCAR and track officials to review the incident and determine any potential future changes to be made.

No major alterations will be in place for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday, though.

Chitwood said that the only change expected for Sunday as the fencing is replaced is that “we will not have time to put the crossover gate that was there, so it will be strictly fencing for tomorrow.”

As NASCAR studies the incident, the gate will be one of the areas it researches.

“I think we look at this after every incident,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell said. “We’ve learned in the past certain protocols put in place today are a result of prior incidents. Again, our initial evaluation is still ongoing. But it’s certainly something we’ll look at. If we can improve upon it, we’ll certainly put that in play as soon as we can.”

As to the area where the injured fans were seated, Chitwood does not expect any changes there.

“We don’t anticipate moving any of our fans,” he said. “We had our safety protocols in place. Our security maintained a buffer that separates the fans from the fencing area. With the fencing being prepared tonight to our safety protocols, we expect to go racing tomorrow with no changes.”

O’Donnell cautioned that it is early to be making assessments, but that NASCAR will evaluate the incident. Asked about the car coming apart, he said officials would look into that as well.

“We’re really early in what we’ve seen,” he said. “Some of the things we have in place, tethers, that sort of thing, held up, did their job. But certainly when you look at this incident, there are some things we can learn and evaluate. We’ll take the car, we’ll do that. We’ll evaluate the fencing and see if there’s anything we can learn from where gates are.

“But, again, really initial right now. I think we need to take the time to really study it and see what we can improve on. If we can, certainly the safety of our fans is first and foremost and we’ll make that happen.”

Series sponsor Nationwide Insurance chief marketing officer Matt Jauchius issued a statement concerning the incident.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the fans and their loved ones who were affected by today’s incident,” Jauchius said. “We would like to commend NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and the medical personnel involved for their quick response to the situation.

“We appreciate the updates on NASCAR driver Michael Annett, who was injured in an earlier accident today, and wish him a fast and full recovery.”

As to Sunday’s Daytona 500, O’Donnell said the track will be ready.

“We’re very confident that we’ll be ready for tomorrow’s event with the 55th running of the Daytona 500,” he said. “As with any of these incidents, we’ll conduct a thorough review and work closely with the tracks as we do with all our events, learn what we can and see what we can apply in the future.”!bdEjc

Hockey fight in the stands

The following link and clip shows a fight and why security really needs to monitor evictions.

During the third period of last night’s Nashville Predators – San Jose Sharks game, a fight broke out in the stands. A Sharks fan and a Predators fan decided they were going to drop their proverbial gloves and throw down. The Sharks fan took a big swing and missed completely. From there, gravity took over as he stumbled down the stairs. Predators fans jumped on and allegedly gave the opposing fan the business. If you want more details, On The Forecheck has one of the most thorough breakdowns of a fan fight that you will ever read.

Savannah State Students Snuck Into Super Bowl and Filmed the Whole Thing

Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports 2/11/13

Super Bowl security was as effective as the Superdome power grid. That’s the main takeaway from a viral video that chronicles two Savannah State University students sneaking into last week’s game.

The young men recorded their undercover efforts and recently posted the clip online. They snuck past numerous security personnel to get into the stadium in time for Beyonce’s halftime performance.

To start, they walked past more than a dozen police officers who were manning a street barricade, drawing almost no attention to themselves. It proves that acting like you belong is always an effective way of fitting in. Later, the pair navigated tunnels, snuck into a door by acting like they were wheeling in video equipment and mingled in large groups before casually walking through doors that led to the field.

The NFL is aware of the incident.

“NFL security is conducting a review and following up with the appropriate authorities in New Orleans,” spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.

The whole thing looked way too easy for the two students. It just goes to show that if you lie to people, follow a labyrinthian series of underground tunnels or stairwells and give each other subtle code names like Kobe and LeBron, you too can sneak into the game of the year.

When tickets run $1,500 a pop, the temptation is understandable. The decision to record the affair and tease a future release of more footage (as was teased at the end of the video) makes less sense.

I guess they could get in trouble — maybe by police, maybe by their school — but the violation of the gatecrasher omertà is the biggest violation. Don’t give away secrets! A magician never reveals his tricks and dudes sneaking into the biggest sporting event in the world don’t highlight their exploits on YouTube.

Brazil police mull closing stadium over incidents

Bangkock Post, 2/1/2013
Brazilian police said Thursday they were considering temporarily closing a Porto Alegre arena where several people were injured following a crush during a Copa Libertadores match.

The security gate located near the pitch in the southern Brazilian city gave way late Wednesday when fans performed “an avalanche” to celebrate a goal by local team Gremio against Ecuadoran side Liga de Quito.

Seven people were lightly injured, including five who had to be hospitalized, and the game was suspended for six minutes.

“We may temporarily close” the Gremio arena, press reports quoted Kleber Rodrigues Goulart, head of the civilian police’s special operations battalion, as saying.

The incident occurred in a stand where there are no chairs, just concrete bleachers which make it possible for fans to rush to the pitch, simulating an avalanche, to celebrate goals by their home side.

Goulart said police felt the area should be filled with chairs.

“We cannot wait for a tragedy to corroborate our opinion,” he added.

Wednesday’s incident came four days after a nightclub fire caused by a long list of infractions in the southern city of Santa Maria raised questions about Brazil’s readiness to hold safe 2014 World Cup and 2016 summer Olympics.

The brand new Gremio stadium, which was inaugurated late last year, will not host any games of the Confederations Cup in June or the World Cup next year.

But the arena is to host a friendly match between Brazil and France in June.

The Brazilian Football Confederation said it was closely monitoring the situation “but with serenity, so as not to trigger panic.”

“We are more than ever going to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of fans,” its president said.

“We are dealing with an engineering issue. We have to correct it. We need 100 per cent safety and we are going to conduct a technical study,” said Eduardo Antonini, of the Gremio Empreendimentos firm, which liaised between the club and the company that built the stadium.

Meanwhile, a 22-year-old man was stabbed outside the Gremio arena late Wednesday during a a scuffle among fans soon after the game started, the GloboEsporte news site reported.

It said the victim was hospitalized but that his injuries are not life-threatening.

Fight at High School Basketball Game

Fighting on court, in stands puts early end to PSAL Brooklyn ‘AA’ boys basketball game between Boys & Girls, Lincoln that results in 80-60 win by Railsplitters
Multiple players ejected after first-quarter brawl. Kangaroo coach Ruth Lovelace also tossed before fighting among fans finally puts end to rough day in Bed-Stuy.
By Mitch Abramson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 8:02 PM

Lincoln senior Elijah Davis just shook his head, trying to process what had just taken place.

A transfer from St. Patrick in New Jersey, Davis said he had never been a part of a game like this. Lincoln topped Boys & Girls, 80-60, Saturday in a PSAL Brooklyn ‘AA’ contest in Bedford-Stuyvesant that was called with 1:15 left after a fight erupted in the crowd.

Earlier, the game was marred by a first-quarter brawl involving players and fans that resulted in two players being ejected and play being stopped for over 10 minutes.

Later, Boys & Girls coach Ruth Lovelace was ejected for arguing with the referee and telling him he had lost control of the game, which it seemed he had. Boys & Girls’ highly-recruited senior Wesley Myers was also ejected for a flagrant foul.

“It was just real crazy,” said Davis, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “This is just different. But you just have to stay focused and play through it.”

That’s what Isaiah Whitehead did just two days after he was benched for the final three quarters against Transit Tech for arguing with Lincoln coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton. Whitehead played one of his better games of the season on Saturday, finishing with 27 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.

Morton said he and Whitehead talked after the game on Thursday and their rift had been mended.

“I just need to do my job and do more listening and do less talking with coach,” Whitehead said. “It was just a learning experience.”

The two schools, which have won the past 11 PSAL ‘AA’ titles, added another chapter in an intense rivalry. When a fight broke out with 2:22 left in the first quarter, Boys & Girls’ Courtney Solomon could be seen throwing a punch, and Lincoln’s Thomas Holley, a transfer from Christ the King, had to be restrained by school safety officers.

For several minutes, the game was delayed while school safety officers, members of the crowd and players jostled. Finally, order was restored and Kwame Asante, the public address announcer at Boys & Girls for 37 years, walked to the middle of the court and announced to the crowd that if anyone acted up, they would be escorted out and arrested.

Each team was assessed a team technical foul for the melee. Solomon and Holley were both ejected. Lovelace said that Solomon was retaliating for getting hit.

All players involved could face minimum four-game suspensions if the league decides its “brawl rule” applies.

At the start of the third quarter, Lovelace questioned why Lincoln’s Desi Rodriguez was playing, claiming he should have been ejected for his part in the melee. The officials brought both Lovelace and Morton together and ruled that no other players would be ejected.

Play resumed and Rodriguez converted a layup to give Lincoln a 45-31 lead. That prompted Lovelace to tell the official scorer that she was playing the game under protest.

Lovelace was ejected with 2:57 left and will likely sit out a game. Myers, who finished with 29 points, is also facing a suspension for his flagrant foul.

Read more:

Club to punish fans who racially abused Altidore


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch club FC Den Bosch pledged Wednesday to do all it can to identify and punish a group of fans who hurled racist abuse at United States striker Jozy Altidore during a match.

Den Bosch said fans responsible for the monkey chants Tuesday in the Dutch Cup match against Altidore’s AZ Alkmaar “do not belong in the De Vliert (Stadium) and will face the toughest possible sanctions.”

The racist chants gave a hollow ring to the slogan “Without respect, no football” that was coined by Dutch soccer authorities in the aftermath of the death of a linesman who was attacked by players after a match between two youth teams near Amsterdam in December.

Altidore, who is black, was not available for comment Wednesday. He’s played for the U.S. national team and the New York Red Bulls from 2006-08.

After the match, he told Dutch television the chants were the worst abuse he has been subjected to on a soccer field.

“It’s a bit disappointing that these things still happen in this time that we’re in,” Altidore told Eredivisie Live. “But what you going to do? You just hope these people can find a way to improve themselves. You can only pray for them.”

Altidore, one of Dutch soccer’s most prolific strikers this season, scored a goal from the penalty spot in his team’s 5-0 win over Den Bosch and urged the referee not to take the players off the field despite the chants.

The 23-year-old American said education is the key to stamping out such chants.

“At the end of the day it’s still alive, racism. All we can do now is try to educate ourselves, the young kids coming up, to be better than that,” Altidore said.

Den Bosch condemned the chants from a small section of the crowd.

“A cup tie that was supposed to be played in an atmosphere of respect has left us scarred,” the club said in a statement on its website.

Referee Reinold Wiedemeijer halted play briefly in the second half because fans threw balls of ice at his linesmen.

Offensive chants are nothing new in Dutch soccer stadiums, but it had been hoped that the sharpened focus on respect following the death of volunteer linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen might help eradicate them.

“(The fans) totally ruined weeks of preparations with monkey chants, throwing things at match officials and not showing respect for those on and around the pitch,” Den Bosch said.

Fiddler’s Elbow ceiling collapses in Edinburgh

BBC News, 1/27/13

Hotel guests and nightclub goers escaped without injury after a ceiling collapsed at an Edinburgh venue.

Fire crews were called to the Fiddler’s Elbow in Picardy Place when the incident happened at 02:30.

Fire alarms were set off, which alerted hotel guests and clubbers in the GHQ nightclub in the hotel’s basement.

A full emergency operation was launched and the street was cordoned off. Ambulance crews also attended but there were no casualties.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “A first floor ceiling had collapsed on to the ground floor.

“Five pumps were in attendance and a further two special urban search and rescue teams were deployed into the collapsed area where it was quickly established that everyone was accounted for.

“A building control officer from the council was there and Scottish Power and Scottish Gas were requested by the fire service.

“The building was left safe and no casualties were recorded.”

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