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Rio de Janeiro's Olympic velodrome catches fire for second time in four months

The blaze and the water used by firefighters caused considerable damage to the arena, which cost about $44 million to build for last year's Olympics.

Published: 26th November 2017 07:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2017 07:52 PM   |  A+A-

The blaze and the water used by firefighters caused considerable damage to the arena, which cost about $44 million to build for last year's Olympics, including a track made from imported Siberian timber. (AP File Photo)

By AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Rio de Janeiro's already damaged Olympic Velodrome caught fire overnight Sunday for the second time in four months, the fire department said.

"It started at about midnight and was put out by 5:10 this morning," a spokesman for the fire department said.

The cause was not yet known, he said, but a Chinese lantern was suspected to have fallen on the roof. The lanterns, carried by balloons, are illegal in Brazil but still popular.

A similar lantern was blamed for a large fire on the Velodrome roof in July.

The blaze and the water used by firefighters caused considerable damage to the arena, which cost about $44 million to build for last year's Olympics, including a track made from imported Siberian timber.

The fire on Sunday meant cancellation of a judo tournament that had been due to take place in the central area of the arena.

"The fire was quickly brought under control by the firefighters," said Jucinei Costa, head of the Rio state judo federation, in a message to athletes. "However very intense smoke within the arena complicated things."
 



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