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Bolivian teenager killed by firecracker at Libertadores game

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Bolivian teenager killed by firecracker at Libertadores game
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Bolivian teenager killed by firecracker at Libertadores game

A 14-year-old has died after being hit by a firecracker during the Copa Libertadores game between San Jose and Corinthians on Wednesday.

Kevin Douglas Beltran Espada, a high school student from Cochabamba, Bolivia, was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital after the firework had penetrated his eye.

The incident occurred early in the game, shortly after Corinthians had taken the lead at the Jesus Bermudez stadium. Reports in Bolivia suggest the firecracker was thrown by visiting supporters of the Brazilian side.

"Brain tissue was damaged due to the projectile, a plastic tube, which penetrated the cranial cavity. Death was instant," Dr. Jose Maria Vargas told the Bolivian state press agency.

Despite the severity of the incident, the match was not stopped and carried on until its conclusion.

Fox Sports reported that five Brazilian fans were arrested by Bolivian police. The rest of the supporters had to remain in the stadium after the game to avoid confrontation with San Jose fans outside the ground.

After the match, players of San Jose and Corinthians coach Tite expressed their sadness at the incident.

Tite told reporters: "You don't win at any cost. I know that this won't take any of the pain away from the family but I would swap the world championship for the life of the child."

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