Personal Injury

Indiana State Fair stage collapse kills five, injures dozens

INDIANAPOLIS — Five people are dead and 45 more injured, some of them seriously, after an outdoor concert stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed Saturday during a storm.

The collapse occurred about 9 p.m., just after singer Sara Bareilles finished her opening act. The country music duo Sugarland was set to perform next but in the minutes between, a strong gust of wind began to shake the stage structure. A video posted on Youtube shows the stage roof and rigging crumpling to the side and forward as onlookers scream.

Before the show started, concert officials announced that they might have to postpone the concert, depending on weather conditions. According to the Los Angeles Times, state police were monitoring weather radar on their smartphones and had just decided to evacuate the grandstands. Officials were getting ready to carry out the plan when the collapse occurred.

The scene became chaotic as many from the crowd of onlookers rushed to the stage to lift scaffolding and equipment off the people trapped underneath.

Indianapolis hospitals quickly set up triage and family reunification rooms after the collapse. State Police Sgt. Dave Bursten said at a news conference that some of the injuries were extremely serious and it was possible that the death toll could climb.

Sugarland’s Twitter message about the collapse, posted Saturday night, said “We are all right. We are praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you’ll join us. They need your strength.”

The Indiana State Fair was closed on Sunday but was expected to reopen on Monday. Sugarland and Sara Bareilles canceled their performances scheduled Sunday night at the Iowa State Fair.

Indiana state fire marshals and the regional office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the collapse.

Sources:

Los Angeles Times

Reuters

WCF Courier