INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A witness who saw two fans fall about 20 feet after Sunday night’s Colts game says the men were leaning over a portable railing when the accident took place.
“I just heard a loud pop bang noise,” said Dalton Tinklenberg. “And then the railing fell and both fans fell over.”
Tinklenberg said he was right behind the two men when it happened. He said it was just after the Colts defeated the Oakland Raiders when players were walking off the field through their respective tunnels. The two fans were leaning over the railing and calling out to Raiders safety Charles Woodson, asking him to throw his gloves to them.
Tinklenberg said Woodson threw the gloves, but they didn’t reach high enough for the men to catch them. When the men reached down and over the railing, that’s when it appeared to give way.
“I mean both guys were fairly large, they leaned out over the shaky railing to go grab these gloves and… we both know what happened,” he said.
Neither man was seriously injured, but stadium officials now have to figure out what caused the rail to give way.
Barry Levengood, executive director of the Indiana Convention Center, said the investigation is looking at the railing itself and the actions of the fans who fell.
“I think every person should always be mindful of their actions,” Levengood told Fox59. “But I can’t say at this moment what the causes were until we fully investigate.”
Levengood said the investigation will include checking every portable railing in the stadium. He said it’s not unusual for portable railing to move when fans lean on it, which could have made it appear shaky before the accident.
“We’re a safe environment,” Levengood said. “We will check all our rails again. We will work with our ushers. We will hopefully have a safe environment for those who attend our games.”
The clock is ticking. High school games are scheduled to be played Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Levengood wants to have answers by then.
The incident could also prompt a discussion about fans interacting with players as they come and go from the playing field.
“There’s always an issue with fan conduct and interaction with players,” Levengood said. “Clearly, we’ll mention it to our NFL individuals. I don’t think it’s a new thing, but I know it’s always been a concern.”