A member of Glasgow University’s basketball team made a ‘miracle’ escape after being crushed by a falling wall in the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena last week.
On February 4, Glasgow student Vytautuas Astromkas was trapped by the falling rubble after the entire backboard came loose bringing the wall with it. The accident took place while the University’s team was warming up for a match against Caledonian University, during the inter-university Glasgow Cup.
Douglas MacLaren, captain of the Glasgow University Men’s Basketball Club, witnessed the accident from on-court.
He told Guardian: “As he dunked the basketball, the inner wall started to peel away, then the backboard and a lot of masonry came down. Luckily the backboard took the brunt of it.”
Paramedics swiftly arrived at the scene and were able to free Astromkas from the wreckage. He was taken to the Western Infirmary and kept in hospital overnight. He was discharged the following day with minor injuries to his arm and stitches in his knee.
MacLaren recalled the team’s reaction and expressed amazement at Astromkas’ escape.
He said: “The way the debris fell it was a miracle no bones were broken. The whole team went up to the hospital, to give him a bit of support. He’s a good player who regularly features in our 1st team.”
MacLaren also confirmed that Astromkas was up and walking again, and anxious to get back to training.
The collapse took place on the internal wall of court three and has raised serious concerns as to the safety of the Kelvin Hall. An investigation into the incident by Health and Safety is underway.
A spokesperson for the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena said: “Due to the accident and ongoing investigation the use of the court has been suspended.”
On Sunday the hall was opened again to host the Scottish Rocks match.