Fans went wild during Argentina's World Cup celebrations, forcing Leonel Messi and his teammates to abandon the victory parade on security concerns as supporters were seen jumping onto the open-top bus. A 24-year-old fan also died after he fell through a roof 'jumping up and down' celebrating Argentina's World Cup victory over France.
Dramatic videos have emerged that show fans leaping onto the Argentina team's open-top bus as a crowd of millions brought their bus to a standstill. According to reports, 18 people were injured during the celebrations. Lionel Messi and the rest of the team delivered Argentina's first World Cup victory since 1986 on Sunday, prompting millions in Argentina to throw parties.
Millions of jubilant fans thronged the streets of Buenos Aires as Lionel Messi and his teammates returned home after their thrilling penalty shootout victory over France in Qatar. Argentina announced a national holiday on Tuesday. However, the journey, which was apparently intended to cover 50 miles after leaving the Argentinian Football Association grounds, had to be cut short on security advice.
While the large crowd gathered around the Obelisk, one of Buenos Aires' most prominent landmarks, may have had something to do with it, a video that surfaced on social media appeared to show a safety breach as a fan appeared to lower himself from an overpass and drop onto the open deck occupied by players and staff.
According to the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, a 24-year-old fan died in hospital after sustaining head injury while celebrating on Monday. According to information from Buenos Aires police, which was reported by La NacÃ³n, the man "was jumping on the roof, celebrating the triumph of the National Team, until [the roof] broke and he fell," leading to fatal injury.
At least 18 people, including children, were reportedly injured during celebrations. A five-year-old child is in a coma after suffering a severe head injury in an incident in Plaza San Martin when he was celebrating Argentina's World Cup victory with his parents.
La Nacion has also described how a piece of marble struck the boy and put him in intensive care during the celebrations.
Team Upset Amid Chaos
Video footage on social media showed crowds of people gathered around the Obelisk and lining the roadways to try to get a glimpse of their returning heroes, in one of the greatest gatherings in history â estimated by local media to have reached 4 million people.
Buenos Aires has been in full party mode since the stunning triumph against France, which has served to mask the country's economic problems as it battles one of the highest inflation rates in the world. With the win in the penalty shootout, Argentina was crowned world champions for the third time overall and for the first time since Maradona lifted the trophy in 1986.
Players danced and applauded with the crowd that surrounded the open-top bus as it wound around the city. Police had to keep people back so that the bus could continue its slowly moving voyage toward the town center. But soon they reached a dead end.
Messi and company had to be evacuated to the sky in helicopters after supporters launched projectiles and attempted to jump on the team bus and fans started jumping onto the vehicle.
The helicopters carrying the players flew low over the capital city's skies, including the area around the iconic Obelisk monument, as irate fans chanted and cheered before taking back the footballers to the Argentine Football Association's (AFA) training facilities headquarters near Ezeiza Airport, where the victory parade had started around noon.
Claudio Tapia, the president of the AFA, said in a statement that the team was disappointed rather than alarmed by what had happened along the way. "They do not let us arrive to greet all the people who were in the Obelisk, the same security agencies that escorted us do not allow us to move forward," said Tapia. "A thousand apologies on behalf of all the champion players. A pity."
Further fan footage showed a police car being hijacked by fans who jumped on top of it. President Alberto Fernandez declared a national holiday for Tuesday so the public could celebrate with their heroes.