In the Western Australian capital of Perth, the beauty market suffered a sudden and unexpected collapse on Friday (20 July).
In the Western Australian capital of Perth, the beauty market suffered a sudden and unexpected collapse on Friday (20 July). Moments after Miss Venezuela had been crowned Miss Universe for 1979, part of the stage fell in. Ten of the finalists plunged through a hole in the swirl of sequined gowns and flailing limbs. Several cameramen, whose definition of calamity might differ from the norm, tumbled in after them. Miss Molta and Miss Turkey were sent to hospital with leg injuries, but none of the girls was seriously hurt.
SYNOPSIS: The parade of seventy-eight contestants had the ripe musical sound and glitter of a Las Vegas spectacular -- the now --traditional aspects of an international beauty quest. No hint here of the turmoil to come.
The ultimate winner -- eighteen- year-old Maritza Sayalero, a student, who won a prize of twenty-one thousand U.S. dollars.
This is Miss Sweden, nineteen-year-old Annette Iekstrogem, who finished last in the group of five finalists.
The floor had burst under the weight of the contestants and jostling cameramen.
One of the few injured in the glamours melee -- Miss Malta, eighteen-year-old Dian Bartolo.
After the fallen were retrieved and dusted off, calm and normally returned. The winner had showed her poise by pushing some of the girls away from danger when she realised the floor was about to give way.
Afterwards, Miss Universe was escorted to a waiting limousine. She was due to begin her year-long whirl of engagements around the world by flying off to Thailand.
An estimated world-wide television audience of seven hundred million had seen the pert Venezuelan win from Miss Bermuda and the pre-contest favourite, Miss England.