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. justin

    Sugarland was not on stage when the collapse occurred. They were in the locker rooms beneath the grandstand at the Indiana State Fair

    August 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wolfe

    Been told on fox59news four people been kill but not confirm yet alot of other injuries could be stright line winds.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jenny

    According to indystar.com and WTHR in Indianapolis, four people have been killed in the collapse.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tyler

    Local stations reporting 4 people are dead.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matt

    At least 4 people have died. Dozens injured.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Aaron

    Sugarland was not on stage. People are reporting 4 people are dead at the indiana state fair grounds.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Austin

    CONFIRMED: 4 people dead, 24 injured. Search for more under way.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rick

    According to news outlets here in Indianapolis, Sugarland was not on stage when it collapsed. There was an announcement being made that the concert may be canceled when it happened.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hoopla

    I was there when it happened..completely shaken up and praying to God for the people who were injured and who lost their lives...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      I'm so sorry. It's a tragedy.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rizzo_is_a_troll

    What are you, 11?

    August 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • LMAO

      no 10 ...what are you 9?

      August 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. heehawgoat

    Some already YouTubed it... It is horrible video...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • dgkdgk

      That is horrific!

      August 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. richard

    yes so far 4 dead and more with head injuries and other injuries. They are still doing searching and checking for other injuries. Sugarland was not on stage but it fell down on stage and down in what they called the "sugar pit" for the show tonight. WTHR is got great news on it right now for live shots and updates. Pray for everyone and for everyones losses.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Liz

    Local News reporting 4 dead. Coroner has only confirmed 2 dead so far.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anonymous

    ughhh dam weather. this is bad. 4 death is true.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. panthersofamerica

    I was there too! It was absolutely unbelievable what happened. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who were injured and lost their lives.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
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