FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots expressed sadness Monday 'that the enthusiasm turned into tragedy' for five fans who were electrically shocked when a goal post they were carrying struck a 20,000-volt power line.
Three of the victims were in Norwood Hospital. Scott McKenzie, 20, and Richard Page, 20, were in fair condition. Paul Samargedlis, 15, was described as good.
Robert Abramson, 19, was in stable condition in Brigham and Women's Hospital and John Pallazola, 26, was in stable condition at the New England Medical Center.
The five sustained electrical burns to the hands and face, hospital officials said.
'When that many people try to get on the field at the same time, there's not a whole lot you can do,' spokesman Mike Loftus said the day after the Patriots defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 34-23 and won a playoff berth.
Thousands of fans poured onto the field and tore down the goal posts Sunday, carrying part of one of them out of Sullivan Stadium.
The celebrants took the post through an exit tunnel behind the north end zone, across a parking lot to nearby Route 1 where 600 marched down the highway tying up traffic in both directions.
When police arrived, shortly before 4:30 p.m., the fans moved from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes, where they stuck the goal post in a steel barrel.
The barrel tipped over and the metal post struck a power line carrying 20,000 volts along the side of the road, police said.
Two fans were thrown through the air and landed on the opposite side of Route 1, said state trooper David Rea. Two other people fell to the ground and a fifth was thrown into the middle of the street, Rea said.
'It was just mass confusion,' said Rea. 'There were bodies all over the place and several hundred drunk people trying to tell state troopers what to do.'
'It's just a shame that the enthusiasm turned into tragedy,' said Loftus. 'There were 59,000 people there. We had a lot of security. But when that many people try to get on the field at the same time, there's not a whole lot you can do.'