Smoke forces NBA stars to evacuate Mexico City arena

Smoke forces NBA stars to evacuate Mexico City arena
General view inside the Arena Ciudad de Mexico where players were evacuated from smoke before the NBA match between Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY - NBA stars were evacuated from a Mexico City arena Wednesday after a transformer burned and spread smoke on the court before a game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Players abandoned their warm-up and exited the 22,000-capacity facility about an hour before tip-off, an AFP photographer said, adding that the stands were empty at the time.

"A transformer burned. There is smoke at the moment which is already clearing up," arena spokeswoman Flor Lopez told AFP. "There will be a game. There is no time yet."

The Spurs wrote on Twitter that there was "no official word yet as to when or if tonight's game will get underway in Mexico City."

The city's civil protection chief, Fausto Lugo, wrote on Twitter that the problem was under control and people were returning to the arena.

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