Fans Dispute WFT's Account of Railing Fail | Athletic Business

Fans Dispute WFT's Account of Railing Fail

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Fans who fell as part of railing failure at FedEx Field on Sunday are refuting a statement by The Washington Football Team that said the team offered “onsite medical evaluation” to those involved in the incident.

Four individuals who said they suffered minor injuries as a result of the fall said they were simply told by security to get off the field.

"They didn't ask if anyone was hurt, and they sure as hell didn't ask if anybody needed medical attention," Andrew Collins, 26, of Brooklawn, New Jersey, told ESPN. "The only thing the staff said to us was to get the F off the field." 

The incident happened near the tunnel as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was leaving the field. A railing on the side of the tunnel gave way and fans who were leaning against it fell six feet to the ground. 

Hurts managed to sidestep the falling fans and ended up taking selfies with some of the individuals who fell.

Washington released the following statement in response to the incident:

To our knowledge, everyone involved was offered onsite medical evaluation and left the stadium of their own accord. We're very glad no one appears to have been seriously injured. The safety of our fans and guests is of the utmost importance and we are looking into what occurred. 

Mike Naimoli, 26, from Sicklerville, New Jersey, said the team's statement was inaccurate. "'Everybody get the F off the field,' and [they] quickly grabbed us away from Jalen and shooed us up into the stands,” Naimoli said.

ESPN also reported that Prince George’s EMS personnel were on the scene within five minutes and began treating those who needed medical attention.

The Associated Press reported via Twitter that an AP photo runner was hurt in the incident. 

ESPN reported that others involved in the incident ended up being treated at area medical facilities for conditions such back pain, neck pain, a pulled groin, arm pain, and extensive bruising.

One Washington official told ESPN that the area where fans had congregated was for disabled fans and was designed for wheelchair access. The official said the railing is not load-bearing and therefore was not designed to support the weight of fans leaning into it.

The group of fans who did suffer minor injuries contend that they were allowed access to the area.

"The security guard at the bottom, we [asked] him, 'Can we go over there?' And he was like, 'Yeah,'" Naimoli told ESPN. "If Washington Football Team wants to come out and say that the area is restricted, there was no documentation of that at all. The one security guard that was right in front of that area swept us in there and was like, 'OK, go ahead over to the tunnel.'"

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