39 hurt as platform collapses during photo-shoot in Mexico | world | Hindustan Times
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39 hurt as platform collapses during photo-shoot in Mexico

world Updated: Jan 19, 2010 11:08 IST
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Thirty nine people were injured when a platform collapsed at a hotel in the Mexican Caribbean resort of Cancun while a group photograph was being taken at the end of a sales meeting, officials said.

The accident occurred on Sunday morning, when about 100 people, all of them employees of Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever, climbed on a movable platform at the golf course operated by the the Gran Melia hotel that is owned by Spanish hotel chain Melia, said Cancun emergency management office chief Ruben Avalos Galue.

"Investigators are trying to determine why the platform collapsed", Avalos Galue said.

About 40 people, including five with serious exposed fractures, were taken to private hospitals, Cancun Red Cross director Ricardo Portugal Zubieta said.

Gran Melia Cancun Resort general manager Rolf Salomon told EFE that 39 people were injured, but just four required hospitalisation.

Of the other injured people, 14 were taken to three private hospitals with minor injuries, such as sprains, bruises and scratches, while the others were treated by the hotel's medical personnel and went back to their rooms, Salomon said.

Unilever's sales meeting drew about 500 people and Mexico's Innovac was hired to handle all the organisational details, including the taking of photographs at the event, Salomon said.

Innovac hired a subcontractor for the photography, and that party set up the platform and selected the location for photos, the hotel executive said.

"The hotel did not at any time contract, nor did it help install or set up the platform, nor did it offer any options" for the photography session, Salomon said.

The same platform was used three days earlier for another photography session, but the company in charge of the photos decided to move it Sunday, the hotel executive said.