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September 21, 2014

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Dozens of injuries reported in stampede after Mayweather-Maidana bout

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Steve Marcus

Metro Police cars and ambulances are shown outside the MGM Grand Garden Arena after a crush of fans caused a series of injuries following the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana title fight at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, May 3, 2014.

Updated Sunday, May 4, 2014 | 2:10 p.m.

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A medical crew responds to a call after a crush of fans caused a series of injuries following the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana title fight at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, May 3, 2014.

The post-bout action Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena did not end with Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s majority decision over challenger Marcos Maidana.

A stampede of fans rushing from the Grand Garden Arena exit and into the hotel's Garden Walk promenade of stores and restaurants caused dozens of injuries after Saturday’s welterweight championship bout. This morning, a Clark County Fire Department representative said that as many as 60 people were treated for injuries, with 24 being taken to Las Vegas area hospitals. That number was later adjusted to about 50 injuries to individuals on the scene.

Clark County Fire spokesman John Steinbeck said this morning that his agency arrived on the scene after receiving an emergency call at 10:45 p.m. reporting gunshots at the venue. In a statement released by Clark County's public information department this afternoon, firefighters were called in to respond to a gunshot victim near the food court on the walkway leading to the Grand Garden.

There was no gunshot victim, and according to today's release, "it was later determined that some sort of wall or partition near the Starbucks in the food court fell over, causing a loud bang. This occurred when the crowd from the Mayweather fight (was) leaving the Grand Garden Arena. The loud bang caused a panic, and multiple people were knocked down and trampled during the panic."

American Medical Response delivered 20 ambulances to the scene, with several more called in from MedicWest Ambulance of Las Vegas.

Two fire engines and four Clark County Fire ambulances also were called to the scene. As the release described, victims spread through the hotel, including to guest rooms, the front lobby and security office. Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services personnel set up a medical triage to treat those who were injured.

According to the statement, most of the injured who were transported by ambulance from the hotel were treated for minor traumatic injuries, such as strains, sprains, foot and ankle injuries, back injuries, injuries associated with being stepped on and one leg laceration. The incident was wrapped up by 1 a.m.

The crush of fans also flooded into the media center, which was overrun with spectators, and at one point, the doors were locked as order was restored.

One eyewitness said the confusion prompted five or six fights, with Metro Police involved in the melee. Another reported that fans leapt over the roped barriers at Blizz yogurt shop to escape the rushing fans, including one woman who was holding a small child. Another woman was seen lying on the floor of the yogurt shop. Two security guards were hurt; one who had been struck in the head and another who was spotted with an injured hand.

A 64-year-old photographer with the hotel who said his name was Carlos told Greg Heakes of the AFP news service that he was caught in a mass of 300 to 400 people.

"People just started yelling and screaming, and next thing I know, some guy jumps over my table and hits me on the head," he said. "People pushed the table back against the wall. There were a couple of ladies on the floor next to me. It was chaos."

During the post-fight news conference, answering a question from Yahoo sports reporter Martin Rogers, Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Productions, said: "If anything happened, I'm sure that will be addressed with MGM security. The MGM is quite well-equipped (at) hosting the biggest fights on a regular basis, so I'm surprised to hear that."

The Grand Garden Arena egress setup is notoriously slow-moving and crowded, with the jostling of spectators leaving events commonplace. The hotel also was the sight of the infamous Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield “Bite Night” bout of Nov. 28, 1997, though the stampede on that night was reported in the hotel lobby.

MGM Resorts officials have yet to respond to questions about the incident. On-site MGM publicist Scott Ghertner said he had forwarded the matter on to Yvette Monet of the MGM Resorts public affairs department, who was expected to furnish a statement by the end of the weekend.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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