Probe underway into Indiana State Fair stage collapse that killed 5
A stage collapsed during a storm Saturday night at the Indiana State Fair's Sugarland concert.
August 14th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

Probe underway into Indiana State Fair stage collapse that killed 5

Update: Sunday 11:28 a.m. ET

At least five people were killed Saturday night at the Indiana State Fair when a massive wind tore down a concert stage, authorities said. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels described the collapse as a "freakish accident." Watch an iReport shot by someone who captured the stage collapsing.

"You could see a lot of people panicking," said Aaron Richman, who witnessed the incident in Indiapolis. Deafening screams were heard over the crumbling of the main concert stage. "All the scaffolding and speakers - all that came crashing down - and the whole stand just collapsed."

Allison Hoehn said many in the crowd rushed to try to help people trapped under the debris.  "We tried to get down to help, but no one was moving," she said. "The storm came on so fast and the stage just snapped like a toothpick."

Spectators grabbed parts of their seats to assemble makeshift stretchers, Hoehn said. "Everyone rushed to help, and we saw people searching and pulling people out," she said. "(I) saw five people go away on stretchers. It was amazing how many people ran in to try to lift the scaffolding."

As crews sifted through the rubble late into Saturday, on Sunday Indiana State Police Sgt. Dave Bursten reported that in addition to the fatalities, at least 40 were injured.

"It's a very sad day at the state fair and our hearts are really breaking," said Cindy Hoye, the fair's executive director. 

Investigators are trying to figure out the cause of the collapse. A stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed Saturday. At least a dozen were hurt, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper.

The country music duo Sugarland, who was slated to appear on stage Saturday, tweeted that they were okay: "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."

A witness told CNN that inclement weather played a part in the incident, which was posted on Youtube.

"A big gust of wind came through. You could see a lot of people panicking. All the scaffolding and speakers - all that came crashing down - and the whole stand just collapsed," Aaron Richmann said.

Video from CNN affiliate WTHR showed flashing lights and emergency vehicles on the scene.

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for central Indiana Saturday evening. “Thunderstorms may be severe with damaging winds and large hail as the main threats,” the weather service said. “The storms will also produce dangerous lightning and brief heavy rainfall.”

The weather service said thunderstorms were possible for the area Sunday.

Read the complete story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Indiana • U.S.
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. justathought

    I'm graetful that there are so many sensitive fellow Americans about this tragity, but I'm appalled that there are so many (who call themselves human , much less Ameican) that can be so insensitive as to make stupid jokes. I just wish there could be some way to say "Pooff" and they would vanish forever. Who needs them anyway?

    August 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fernace

    I live in ATx., home of sxsw, ACL & numerous concerts & outdoor events throughout the year! We have temporary & permanent stages set up at any given time! As any1 who's been in Texas can attest to, we also have unpredictable weather(back when we had "weather,"that is!) Stages must be set up in a manner that they don't collapse due to wind, rain or vigorous perfomances! I have been a performer myself since the age of 12 & have refused to perform on a stage that bounced alot, or seemed of poor construction! I know, to the audience & lay people it may seem like a freak accident that no1 could have predicted or prevented, but there are people who's job it is to do just that & it seems they laid down on the job here, as well as in Canada at the Cheap Trick concert! That is Unforgivable! People died just trying to have some fun & entertainment! When there have been weather, wind & hail warnings for 24 hrs.,it is the event planners jobs to evaluate risks & get a Timely warning to concert goers!!

    August 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. banasy©

    This is a sad event.
    My condolences to all.
    I was camping when this storm system came through, and I can tell you, it was vicious.
    The wind was wicked crazy!

    August 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. raven

    @TERROR ALERT: um.. what ???

    August 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. justathought

    =============@ Raven: Don't worry about what TERROR ALLERT said, the stupid remarks were aimed at me. I'm paying the idiot no attention.

    August 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. raven

    @justathought: oh good! I thought it was just some rambling,argumentative,imbalanced jerk babbling nonsense. glad i was mistaken!

    August 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. banasy©

    @justathought:

    You must have really ticked him off...he pasted on every thread!

    And, hi.

    August 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Humber

    fernace is right.
    "Aus-
    pices."
    That was the word, I think, that got two of my posts censored by Hal last night and this morning.
    I said that it was the responsibility of the (bad word) to cancel after the weather prediction.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Humber

    Now I see why! Of course.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • john doe

      The stages they put up are giant kites. So when they said to everyone that they new there was going to be bad weather coming through they should have had everyone get away from that area, not just sit there and wait it out and let the stage fall on them. who ever was in charge of this concert should of thought about safety and not about seeing how much money they could make by packing as many people in a area that is dangerous when bad weather is coming. USE COMMON SENSE PEOPLE.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Johns

      The stages they put up are giant kites. So when they said to everyone that they new there was going to be bad weather coming through they should have had everyone get away from that area, not just sit there and wait it out and let the stage fall on them. who ever was in charge of this concert should of thought about safety and not about seeing how much money they could make by packing as many people in a area that is dangerous when bad weather is coming. USE COMMON SENSE PEOPLE.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ying

    I dont care I dont know any of them

    August 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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