Packed tightly and fighting, hundreds of students at the Public University of El Alto pressed and shoved against a railing that collapsed as the balcony appeared to crumble at the base, dropping 11, leaving a mounting death toll, and at least 4 young people in intensive care. The dead range in age from 19 to 27.
The tragedy came after a call to an extraordinary general student assembly which bucked biosecurity regulations and agglomerated protesting young people on a high hallway protected by a balustrade that gave way.
One woman can be seen in video footage lunging toward another young woman who is pressed into the railing as it gives way, dropping her from a height of over 50 feet. Various videos shows her in a pile of bodies at the bottom, and the lounging woman trapped by the weight of other students on her feet while she hangs precariously upside-down and is pulled to safety.
Investigations are under way into the decision to congregate so many people, the nature of the confrontation, and structural faults in construction.
By Milan Sime Martinic