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Smoke forces NBA stars to evacuate Mexico City arena

05 December 2013, 09:17

Mexico City - NBA stars were evacuated from a Mexico City arena Wednesday after an electrical glitch spread smoke on the court before a game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The NBA wrote on Twitter that the start of the game has been delayed due to a "generator malfunction" but it did not give a new time for tip-off and that updates "will be provided as appropriate."

Players abandoned their warm-up and exited the 22,000-capacity Arena Ciudad de Mexico about an hour before tip-off, an AFP photographer said, adding that the stands were empty at the time.

"A transformer burned. There is smoke at the moment which is already clearing up," arena spokeswoman Flor Lopez told AFP. "There will be a game. There is no time yet."

The city's civil protection chief, Fausto Lugo, wrote on Twitter that the problem was under control and people were returning to the arena.

The $300 million arena opened in February 2012 and its website boasts that it is the "most important, comfortable, modern and safe facility" in Latin America.

It is the second time that Mexico hosts a regular season NBA game. The last time was in 1997, when the Dallas Mavericks played the Houston Rockets.



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