A baseball player was in tears and had to be consoled by teammates after he hit a ball into the crowd and hurt a four-year-old girl.
The ball was smashed into the first few rows of the stands and as shocked spectators fell silent, Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr collapsed to his knee and buried his head in his arms.
Teammate Jason Heyward and manager Joe Maddon went over to comfort him.
The crying girl, who was sitting outside of the protective netting, was rushed up the stairs of the stadium and later taken to hospital.
US media reported that analysis suggested the ball had travelled 160ft in 1.2 seconds and was going at least 90mph.
Almora went to check on the girl’s condition later in the game and broke down again, hugging a security guard.
“As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her,” said Almora in a post-game interview.
“Just praying. I’m speechless. I’m at a loss for words. Being a father, two boys,” added the player.
He said “god willing” he hopes to make contact with the girl in the future.
Photos showed she was conscious and sport broadcaster ESPN said its sources understood her condition was not serious.
The incident happened during a game at the home of the Houston Astros, who later released a statement.
It said: “The young fan that was struck by a foul ball during tonight’s game was taken to the hospital.
“We are not able to disclose any further details at this time. The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family.”
According to ESPN, Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon told Almora he was not to blame.
“I just wanted him to understand, ‘This is not under your control,” said Maddon.
“There’s nothing you could’ve done about that differently, so please don’t blame yourself.”
Source: SKY NEWS