High winds collapse building at Florida aviation fair, police say
High winds in Lakeland, Florida, collapsed a tent and tossed an airplane into a ditch Thursday.
March 31st, 2011
01:58 PM ET

High winds collapse building at Florida aviation fair, police say

[Updated at 1:58 p.m.] A photo on the website of Bay News 9 showed an overturned airplane at the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport. The affiliate also broadcast images of damaged street signs and billboards as high winds swept through much of the region.

In Lakeland, Sgt. Terri Smith said earlier reports that 70 people were trapped after a building collapsed at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport are false.

A heavy storm with strong winds hit the Sun 'n' Fun Aviation Fair at the airport, Smith said, causing "extensive minor damage and reports of minor injuries," but "all persons so far have been accounted for."

[Posted at 12:21 p.m.] Severe weather tore across central Florida on Thursday, trapping about 70 people at an airport in Lakeland, and spawning an apparent tornado in Tampa, the National Weather Service said.

Approximately 70 people were reported trapped in a collapsed building at the Sun 'n' Fun Aviation Fair at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida due to severe winds, the weather service said.

In Tampa, meanwhile, an apparent tornado touched down in Hillsborough County, parts of which were under a tornado warning that the weather service issued at 11:51 a.m. The warning covered parts of Hillsborough as well as parts of Polk County.

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Filed under: Florida • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. GuestColin

    *UPDATE* TIA has quite a number of delays and cancellations. If you're flying, check with your airline.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. zbzb

    Hello from Tampa! Yeah it is pretty bad and stormy, mushroom clouds and lightning are visible. Stay indoors and stay safe 🙂

    March 31, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nancy

    I have relatives in Dade City trailer park. Any info on how that area is?

    March 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ole lady

    Yeah and its heading my way. Just popped the tab on a cold one.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Amy

    My husband is there now working, and says it was NOT a hanger, it was a tent. There were 70 people under it when it fell, but only 1 person was hurt in any way. The actual Sun and Fun authorities are trying to get the accurate information out now, a local news crew just pulled up.

    There are extensives damage to planes, people with lacerations to their face and hands, and one with a possible broken wrist.

    According to my husband and event security, no one is trapped.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ole lady

    I just hope the people are all right and only minor injuries to report. I'll keep them in my prayers while sitting in my bathtub with a mattress over my head.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Barb Martin

    AP is reporting that earlier reports of an aircraft hangar collapsing in Lakeland were incorrect. It was a tent that collapsed, 7 injured, one person might have a broken hip but no serious injuries. Looks like lots of damage around the airport due to the number of aircraft in for this weekend's event.

    March 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark

    Sun 'n Fun Radio (streamed via web) also indicates no building collapse.

    http://www.liveatc.net/flisten.php?mount=sunfunlive1

    March 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bob

    I hope everybody dies

    March 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    Florida sucks, floridians are ashols and deserve to die

    March 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • lc972

      How long have you been out of prison Bob? looks like your taking it up the a$$ to long! Line up against the wall, your the one who should stop breathing oxygen, your wasting it for others!

      March 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bob

    Fukk you Ic972, your mama is the one who likes it up her ass you stupid fukk, I'm going to look for you and fukk you motherfukker, your ip is mine ashol

    March 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bob

    Don't be angry when you hear your family had an accident

    March 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ole lady

    Wow Bob has a serious tude. Bob you need relief. Give Rosy Palm a call.

    March 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tesie G.

    Bob settle down

    March 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Herbert

    Yea bob, settle down, stupid.

    March 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
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