A fire unleashed after a short circuit destroyed the upper part of the Quisqueya Juan Marichal stadium in the Dominican capital today, forcing the suspension of the match between Gigantes del Cibao and Leones del Escogido, who are contesting the semifinal series of the local professional baseball championship.
According to official sources, the incident began around 6:20 p.m. local time (22:20 GMT) in the highest area of the sports scene, where the press area is located and the matches are broadcast, which forced dozens of journalists and another staff will quickly leave the place.
“The fire broke out when an air conditioner began to produce smoke, apparently due to a short circuit, and it quickly spread to other areas of the place, which is an area where there are highly flammable materials such as plastics, carpets and others,” he explained National Baseball Commissioner Ricky Noboa.
The official assured that stadium personnel tried to control the fire using fire extinguishers placed in the area, but that this was not possible given the magnitude of the flames.
Noboa also revealed that the firefighters called to quell the incident “arrived a little late.”
After more than 90 minutes, the fire continued to consume the “seventh heaven”, as the affected area is known, which includes a cafeteria.
The players of the Escogido and the Gigantes, who carry out pre-game practices, also had to leave the field of play for safety reasons.
The Minister of Sports, Danilo Díaz, appeared at the venue and said that the Quisqueya Juan Marichal stadium is managed by the Dominican Professional Baseball League (Lidom), the entity responsible for its operation and security.
«I have come to find out about the situation and talk with the president of the league, Vitelio Mejía; we would have to evaluate the damages and determine what the league’s response to this event would be, “said Díaz.
The stadium, which hosts the capital’s Lions and Tigres del Licey teams, was inaugurated in 1955 by the dictator Rafael L. Trujillo, as part of the works he had built to celebrate his 25 years in power.
Leones, Tigres, Gigantes and Águilas Cibaeñas dispute the semifinal series of the 2017-2018 championship.