Olympics: Overhead TV camera falls in Olympic park, injures seven

At least three people are injured when a television camera suspended by cables falls to the ground in the Olympic Park in Rio outside the basketball arena.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - An overhead television camera suspended by cables crashed to the ground in the Olympic Park on Monday, injuring seven people, including two children, in the latest of a string of mishaps to hit South America's first Games.

The camera, encased in a heavy black cover, belonged to the official Olympics broadcast unit and fell about 20m after cables snapped, sending screams through the crowd, witnesses and officials said.

"I was looking to the camera ... and suddenly I heard a big snap on the cable and the camera came down," said visitor Chris Adams, a member of the British gymnastics delegation.

A Brazilian TV news report showed two women looking dazed, sitting on the ground near the camera.

One woman, bleeding from the face as medics arrived, was taken away on a stretcher. The other walked from the scene wearing a neck brace.

A total of four people were taken to hospital after the incident, including two children who had been hit by a cable, a Rio Games official said. All were expected to be discharged later on Monday, the official said.

One of the camera's cables had already broken before it fell and a walkway directly beneath had been cordoned off while the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) unit arranged for a cherry-picker to go to the scene and hoist someone up to it, OBS said.

But the camera came down at an angle, falling outside the cordon, said Adams, the British visitor, who was taking pictures of the park at the time.

"There was a lot of medical people and Rio staff around. They were very, very quick, they were excellent. But obviously there is a problem with this overhead Olympic Park camera. It's shocking."

Rio organisers have been struggling with a series of security and logistical problems, including the robbery of U.S. gold medallist swimmer Ryan Lochte and three of his team mates at gunpoint in the early hours of Sunday.

In the first week of the Games, Portugal's visiting education minister was robbed at knife point, bullets flew into the equestrian centre, a Games bus was attacked with stones and the diving and water polo pools turned green with algae.