Two participants in a Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc. athletic TV game show were seriously injured Sunday during filming at a Yokohama studio, TBS officials said Monday.

The officials said Wei Tao, a 19-year-old Chinese freshman at Kyoto University, and Takunori Isa, a 20-year-old junior at Tokai University, injured their cervical vertebrae in separate accidents during a recording of “Kinniku Banzuke” (“Muscle Ranking”).

Police said they will question TBS officials on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in bodily injury.

“Kinniku Banzuke” features competitions involving professional and amateur athletes, as well as TV celebrities. Sunday’s accidents mark the first time its contestants have been seriously injured, according to TBS.

The title of the episode being taped Sunday was “Chikarajima” (“Power Island”), during which contestants try to clear an obstacle course set up in TBS’ studio in Aoba Ward, Yokohama, according to the police. Taping started at 7 p.m. The accidents occurred during the “rock attack” and “rock valley” games.

In rock attack, contestants try to catch a giant ball and push it up a 15-degree slope. In rock valley, they try to walk on the ball, which weighs about 30 kg and has a diameter of 1.8 meters, across a ditch 2.5 meters wide and 1.4 meters deep.

Wei, who lives in Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward, fell into the ditch during the rock valley game, according to police. As Wei climbed out of the ditch by himself, TBS continued recording the show. However, he later complained of pain and was taken to a hospital.

While Wei was being treated at the hospital, Isa, a resident of Tokyo’s Sumida Ward, fell down when he tried to catch the ball in rock attack, the police said.

TBS officials said 32 people appeared on the program.

TBS, which has aired “Kinniku Banzuke” since 1995, apologized for the injuries. It said it has decided not to air the program and will consider taking safety measures.

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