At least seven college students have died after plunging from the fourth floor of a university building. The students were filmed falling to their deaths at the Public University of El Alto (UPEA), in a highland city near La Paz, Bolivia, when a balcony crush led to a railing collapsing. Dramatic video footage of the accident showed a large group of students gathered on a crowded balcony when the railing gives way. A statement released by the university read: "The University declares mourning for seven days at the Public University of El Alto due to the unfortunate events that occurred on the morning of this day, March 2."
The accident occurred in the university's financial sciences building, where students were gathered to attend an assembly. At least eight people are reported to have fallen, with one still in intensive care. Three others were injured.
Bolivian Police chief, Colonel Jhonny Aguilera, told reporters that the students' cause of death was 'multiple defenestration trauma.' He added that officers have launched an investigation into the cause of the fatal accident.
Bolivian President Luis Arce said: "We regret the tragedy that occurred at the Public University of #ElAlto (UPEA), where there were several deaths and injuries. Our deepest condolences to the people of El Alto and to the suffering families. We await the prompt clarification of the facts."