Friday 2 December 2016

Baseball fan dies after falling from upper deck of stadium

Published 30/08/2015 | 10:13

New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) hits a double in the seventh inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Yankees won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) hits a double in the seventh inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Yankees won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

A baseball fan has died after falling from the upper deck of the stadium during a game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees.

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Atlanta police confirmed the death hours after the fall during the seventh inning after the man fell into the lower-level stands at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia.

Police Lt Charles Hampton said the man, who was in his early sixties, was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital. There was no immediate word on his identity pending notification of his next of kin.

The fall immediately followed the introduction of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter.

The game was not delayed while medical personnel treated the man for about 10 minutes, applying CPR before putting him on a backboard.

Police do not suspect foul play at this point. Lt Hampton said no fans were hurt in the seated area where the man landed after falling from section 401, close to an area where players' wives and families sit.

There was blood on the concrete surface around the seats.

This was the third fan death from a fall at Turner Field in eight seasons. In 2013, a fan's death was ruled a suicide; in 2008, police cited alcohol as a factor after a man died.

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius was standing on second base, following his double, when he saw the man fall.

"I was thinking about it the whole time," Gregorius said after the Yankees won 3-1.

"All I can say is, my condolences to the family. It was right in front of the camera in the press box. He hit the wires."

Major League Baseball said it had been in contract with the Braves and was monitoring the situation.

A sellout crowd of 49,243 was the largest of the season at Turner Field. The Braves are set to move into a new suburban stadium in 2017.

Adam Staudacher and his girlfriend were returning to their seats near where the fan fell.

Mr Staudacher, 33, from Virginia Highlands, Georgia, said it appeared the fan landed headfirst on a 3ft-wide walkway between sections.

He estimated 20 medical staff immediately surrounded the fan and began carrying out CPR, treating him for "five to seven minutes" before taking him away.

Mr Staudacher said he saw no movement from the fan.

"There were a tonne of kids right there," he said. "It was a disturbing scene. Disturbing doesn't really go far enough."

Mr Staudacher said Braves representatives came around in eighth inning to check on fans and offered them seats in suites, away from where the fan fell.

"The Atlanta Braves offer their deepest condolences to the family," the team said in a statement.

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