About seven University students have met their untimely death after a university balcony railing broke.
The students were filmed falling to their deaths at the Public University of El Alto (UPEA), in a highland city near La Paz, Bolivia, when a balcony in one of the University’s block was congested with students and this led to a railing collapsing on the fourth floor.
According to reports, about eleven students fell off from the fourth floor after the rail broke with seven confirmed dead and the four others hospitalized with serious injuries.
A video recorded by a bystander in the university building showed the balcony of the fourth floor where the rail broke filled with dozens of students jostling for position in a crowded hallway as they attempted to enter a lecture hall for an assembly Tuesday.
Due to the congestion, some students could be seen leaning on the rail when a section of it suddenly broke, sending them falling to the ground four floors below.
The dead victims were identified as Raúl Cadena; Genio Mamani; Saúl Mamani; Daniel Rodríguez; Anahí Chipana; Loida Sosa; and Tania Roque, according to Bolivia’s Special Force to Fight Crime.
Reacting to the news of the unfortunate demise of the students, the University released a statement saying: “The university declares mourning for seven days at the Public University of El Alto due to the unfortunate events that occurred on the morning of this day, March 2.”
The accident occurred in the university’s financial sciences building.
Speaking about the incident, Colonel Jhonny Aguilera, the Bolivian Police chief, told reporters that the students’ cause of death was “multiple defenestration trauma.”
Aguilera said the students’ remains would be directly turned over to their family members in order to avoid any incidents that could delay their burials while officers carry out an investigation into the cause of the fatal accident.