Rio Olympic velodrome hit by second fire in four months

The Olympic velodrome in Rio

The Olympic velodrome in Rio

Four months after a Chinese lantern landed on the roof the 2016 Rio Olympic Games velodrome, resulting in fire damage to the building, the venue has again suffered the same fate according to reports.

A lantern is suspected to have caused the blaze and a second round of damage to the velodrome. In both events, there have been no reports of human injuries after a lantern landed on the roof of the velodrome.

"It started at about midnight and was put out by 5:10 am on Sunday morning," a spokesman for the fire department said. "The velodrome suffered damage to the roof, but there is no structural risk."

Following the first fire in July, Brazil's sports minister, Leonardo Picciani condemned the use of Chinese lanterns near the Olympic park, tweeting "Absurd! In addition to the balloon that burned the velodrome, other balloons fell in the Olympic Park". His tweet, accompanied by a photo showing several of the Chinese lanterns.

Since the Olympic Games last year, the $45 million velodrome has been used sparingly and was only reopened for use in May. The velodrome was also used for the 2016 Paralympic Games. A judo tournament that was scheduled to take place Sunday at the velodrome was cancelled as a result of the fire.



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