Updated at 17:19,07-01-2021

Viewer injured by puck: I could have died in Minsk Arena

Ales Piletski, Euroradio

Minsker Yan attended a match of the world hockey championship and has already spent a week in hospital. He has a double skull fracture caused by a puck.

“If it had hit me one centimetre closer to the temple, I could have died in that arena. A centimetre lower – I could have lost my eye. I was definitely lucky. The puck hit one of the hardest bones of the skull. It is good that I can talk to you now,” Yan said the day after a neurosurgical operation.

‘A depressed fracture of the external part of the frontal sinus and of the upper part of the orbital cavity’ – this is Yan’s diagnosis. It is hard to believe that the 29-year-old man received the traumas due to a puck hit in Minsk Arena during Latvia-Kazakhstan match. Yan underwent an operation a week after the incident – on May 20. The young man will have to stay in hospital for at least one more week –it depends on the success of the operation.

Yan did not want to talk to journalists before the operation. He is thinking about the possibility to receive compensation from the organizers of the championship now. He did not manage to go on a planned trip to Poland due to the trauma. He lost money for his unused visa. It is not clear how much the treatment and rehabilitation will cost either. The unlucky hockey fan is gathering information for his lawyer now.

“I need to recover first. I also need all the medical papers proving that I was injured and underwent this operation.”

By the way, it was Yan’s second visit to a hockey match – he succumbed to euphoria. His previous match was a CHL match of Minsk Dynama. He was sitting behind the Latvian team’s bench at the moment of the incident – the atmosphere was wonderful and it was interesting to look at hockey players. Neither he, nor his friends could imagine that sitting so close to the pitch was that dangerous.

Yan should discuss his case with a lawyer, the Belarusian Consumer Association explained to Euroradio. A ticket only guarantees that the buyer will see the match. Traumas should be considered separately.

“He should ask a lawyer if it is possible to get some compensation for it. The ticket guarantees that he would see the match and he saw it. Speaking about the other circumstances… he should consult a lawyer.”

The state insurance company Belgosstrah is one of the official partners of the championship in Minsk. It guaranteed free medical assistance to all foreigners with tickets. The company could not tell Euroradio whether the injured Belarusian would be able to receive compensation. However, they promised to consider the case and provide an answer later.