A baseball fan is thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by a broken bat that flew into the crowd during a Major League Baseball game.
The woman was carried out of the Fenway Park stands on a stretcher, bleeding from the head, after being struck by the bat of Oakland Athletics player Brett Lawrie, which broke when he hit the ball during the second inning of the match against the Boston Red Sox.
The game was delayed while the fan was tended to in the first few rows of seats between home plate and the third base dugout.
She was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Police spokeswoman Rachel McGuire said: “Apparently a broken bat went into the stands.
“She was taken to Beth Israel Medical Center with what appear to be life-threatening injuries.”
Speaking after the match, Lawrie said: “You try to keep her in your thoughts and, hopefully, everything’s all right and try to get back to the task at hand.
“Hopefully everything’s OK and she’s doing all right.
“I’ve seen bats fly out of guys’ hands in(to) the stands and everyone’s OK, but when one breaks like that, has jagged edges on it, anything can happen.”
Alex Merlis was sitting in the row behind the woman when she was hit.
He described the impact as “violent”, and added: “She bled a lot. A lot.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that.”
Mr Merlis said the woman had been sitting with a small child and a man, who police later said were her husband and son.
After she was struck, the man was tending to her and other people were trying to console the distraught child, Mr Merlis said.
Amid concern about flying broken bats and the potential danger they posed, Major League Baseball implemented a series of changes to bat regulations for the 2009 season onwards.
MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said multi-piece bat failures were down about 50% since then.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said: “Our thoughts and concern, and certainly our prayers, go out to the woman that was struck with the bat, her and her family.
“A scary moment, certainly.
“All you can think about is a family, they come to a ballgame to hopefully get three hours of enjoyment, and unfortunately with how close our stands are to the field of action, an accident like this tonight is certainly disturbing.”