New Zealand women's water polo player Bernadette Doyle opens up about South Korea tragedy

One of the two Kiwi women's water polo players injured in South Korea's nightclub tragedy says she's lucky to be alive. 

Bernadette Doyle fractured her tail bone when the mezzanine balcony she was dancing on with her teammates gave way, killing two people.  

"I thought I was going to die. It did cross my mind," Doyle tearfully told Newshub.

The 18-year-old was celebrating the end of the water polo World Championship with the New Zealand women's and men's teams at Coyote Ugly nightclub in Gwangju when the night turned to terror.

"I heard a sound and then within a second... the floor dropped to the ground," she said.

Doyle was dancing on the mezzanine floor balcony as it gave way, plummeting 5 to 6 metres onto the people dancing below. 

"All the pipes blew so there was water spraying everywhere. Around the outside there were empty beer bottles for decorations, so those shattered everywhere," she explained.

One of her teammates was left dangling from a pole. Teammate Emily Nicholson also fell. 

"I don't remember hitting the ground... all I remember is grabbing a pole in front of my teammate's face, because it was swinging towards her."

Doyle says another person broke her fall, but her right leg was pinned underneath a panel.

"Everyone was just running and screaming, just panicking."

She says people desperately tried to hold the balcony up. Nicholson, who suffered cuts to her arm and leg, helped to free her. 

"I think someone was pulling from behind, and she was pulling me from the front," Doyle said.

Doyle fractured her tailbone, but says the memories of what happened are more painful than her injuries. 

"I saw some of the people at the bottom... there was a couple face down... and it was definitely a lucky land I guess," Doyle said, struggling to hold back tears.

24 hours after her teammates arrived back home to their families, Doyle is relieved she's now done the same.