The overhead camera fell in the main Olympic Park during Rio 2016 ©AFP/Getty Images

Reports have indicated that the television camera which injured eight people after falling in the Olympic Park during Rio 2016 may have been cut by an illegally operated "fighter kite". 

This was claimed in an Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) statement sent to insidethegames the day after five people involved with the camera's operation were indicted.

They are accused of causing bodily injury following the incident.

Four people were taken to hospital after a cable holding an OBS-operated overhead camera snapped in the Barra Olympic Park on August 15.

The number included two children as the camera plummeted around 20 metres to the shock of a packed crowd.

Olympic Park general manager Andre Furtado Mattos and four foreign workers employed by camera operators Camcat Systems have been indicted for alleged wrongdoing, it has been reported.

A statement by the Rio Civil Police claimed "these were the people who, at the time of the incident, had a responsibility to prevent the actual result - falling camera and the injury to eight people".

But the OBS insist the damage was caused by external interference.

"As confirmed in the reports issued by the Rio Civil Police forensic experts, to which OBS has had access, as well as reports by independent international experts, the camera fall was actually the result of the cutting - of its sustaining cables - by a third party," their statement claimed.

"All cables were cut at the same section over the Jacarepagua Lagoon, in an area allegedly secured, exactly adjacent to the Olympic Park. 

"All reports also indicate that each of the cables independently was able to sustain several times the weight of the camera and that the cables could not have broken as a result of its normal operation. 

"Expert reports have also confirmed that the system was properly designed and installed."

Olympic Broadcasting Services were initially blamed for the mishap ©AFP/Getty Images
Olympic Broadcasting Services were initially blamed for the mishap ©AFP/Getty Images

The statement adds: "The reports by Civil Police forensic experts include statements such as: 'through the tests conducted on the cables, it is possible that a kite - "linha" - had cut the three cables'.

"'Tests were conducted with a lower tension than the one present at the accident site with an old linha from a kite and it cut the cables'. 

"The presence of such a kite on the day of the incident is confirmed by the testimony of one security agent."

Battling with "fighter kites" is a popular recreational activity in parts of Brazil - particularly in favela communities.

 A linha is a specially prepared kite line treated with abrasive materials in order to cut other lines.

Use of them is illegal, however, because their razor-sharp strings have caused numerous injuries and deaths.

OBS, whose head Yiannis Exarchos was questioned by police following the incident, claim they are not guilty of any wrongdoing.

Equipment belonging to the company was held in Brazil for over a month as an investigation unfolded before being released late last month after the brokering of a special agreement with the Public Ministry of Labour.

They now hope that an investigation will focus upon "finding and bringing to justice those responsible for this act" instead of blaming those responsible for maintaining the camera.

It marks the latest feud between the Olympic Movement and Brazilian authorities after International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Patrick Hickey was arrested in a televised dawn raid for alleged involvement in a ticketing scam.

He was held in Brazil for three months before being permitted to leave the country on bail last week.

He denies all of the charges against him.

According to a report in Globo, the four foreign workers to be indicted are Austrians Alexander Brozec, Daniel Goestch and Thomas Schindler and Englishman Arthur John Pearce.

Operating fighter kites such as this one is a popular, but banned, practice in Brazil ©YouTube
Operating fighter kites such as this one is a popular, but banned, practice in Brazil ©YouTube

"The company defends and endorses the decisions made by its managers and maintains that all necessary measures were taken for the installation and operation of the camera system by the company which provided the service," the OBS statement concluded.

"OBS would also like to clarify that the decisions regarding safety at the Olympic Park and its public areas were made by the Organising Committee Rio 2016 and that OBS has always followed diligently all their procedures and directives.

"The company would expect, after examining the forensic reports, that investigations should be focused in finding and bringing to justice those responsible for this act and identifying those responsible for such a severe security breach in an area immediately adjacent to the Olympic Park.

"OBS reaffirms its full confidence in the Brazilian Judicial system and its independence and is convinced that it will be able to shed light on this matter."

OBS, based in Spanish capital Madrid, was created by the International Olympic Committee in 2001 to serve as the host broadcaster organisation for all Summer, Winter and Youth Olympic Games.

More than 7,000 technicians from 70 countries worked for OBS during Rio 2016.