Part of a sports stadium in eastern Paraguay collapsed while the ruling party held a political rally, killing at least 33 people and injuring more than 100, authorities said Friday.
A metallic section of Third of February Stadium caved in Thursday night in Ciudad del Este, 180 miles east of Asuncion, the capital. At least 17 of the injured were in serious condition, police said.It wasn't immediately clear what caused the collapse, but party members said powerful winds - possibly a tornado - damaged the structure.
Police spokesman Pablo Augusto Marin said one policeman was among the dead and 13 officers were among those injured in the collapse. The mayor of Cuidad del Este, Juan Carlos Barreto, said three children were among those killed.
Marin said authorities feared more victims would be found once the stadium roof was lifted off the ground.
William Kneas, a meteorologist at the U.S. Weather Service in Camp Springs, Md., said satellite imagery suggested there had been a heavy thunderstorm in eastern Paraguay on Thursday night.
"Storms blew up pretty quickly. Usually when you see images like that, it would focus your attention that there was some severe weather associated with them," he said.
Ciudad del Este is located along the Parana River on Paraguay's border with Argentina and Brazil.