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Saturday, January 4
 
Spokesman: Two men suffer 'minor injuries'

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two men sustained minor injuries and were taken to a hospital after falling about 15 feet from the stands onto a concrete walkway during an NHL game Saturday night, a Columbus Blue Jackets spokesman said.

In March 2002 at the same site -- Nationwide Arena -- 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil was struck in the head by a puck and died two days later. She was the first fan to die from an injury at an NHL game.

The two men were "behaving recklessly'' when they fell onto a floor in front of the Zamboni storage area in the second period of Columbus' game against Phoenix, spokesman Todd Sharrock said.

Robin Bisesi, a fan seated in the section where the fall occurred, said she saw the two men exchange punches while standing near a railing. After they struggled for a few seconds, she said, they flipped over the railing headfirst.

The two men did not want to be taken to Grant Medical Center, but medics insisted as a precaution, Sharrock said. He called their injuries "very minor.''

Play resumed as emergency medical personnel tended the men.

Sharrock did not know their names or ages. A nursing supervisor at the hospital said she had no immediate information on them.

Columbus won the game, 2-0.

Cecil died after being struck by a shot off the stick of Columbus' Espen Knutsen that deflected into the stands.

As a result, the NHL installed protective netting in all its arenas before this season.




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