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. chris emmons

    4 people are confirmed dead from WTHR news in Indianapolis. So sorry to the family's of these people.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hank Hill

    God Bless The Souls Of The Departed

    August 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jan

      Adding my prayers to those being offered for the dead and injured.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anonymous

    funny. but sad. ;-d

    August 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jillian

      there's nothing funny about this at all. so shut your insensitive trap.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    Prayers for those affected. Local news says 4 dead, 24 injured.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Oh yep, you're just so intellectual with your holier than thou comments.

      I'll be praying to my imaginary friend for your lack of a soul.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JBHedgehog

      @yep You're really not helping anything. I'm sure your parents taught you this: "if you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything."

      Words to live by, stupid.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • realityhurts

      But this is part of god' s plan right? He's all knowing.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jillian

      @realityhurts: just stfu.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      @realityhurts, as sick a person as you are...I would never wish something like this on you or someone you love. How about a little compassion?

      August 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jon

    im from indianapolis, im listening to police scanner and the near by hospitals are full, there are hundreds injured and 8 deaths

    August 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. edvhou812

    This is too bad. Death will come when we least expect it.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Neal

    While i feel sorry for this tragedy, there are homeless in U.S who die in the hundreds but it never makes the news like this.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jillian

      Just voice your condolences and leave it at that. If you have to continue your sentence with an insensitive remark, then stfu altogether.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • vballer14

      it's a valid point, but insensitive and unnecessary at this time.

      August 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael

    Shut up. That's an ignorant and immature joke to make in this situation. Grow up.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Diva

    Four people have died in this accident and a dozen or more have been injured, some critically.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    4 deaths equals minor injuries? Idiot.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jack Cross

    This is horrible to hear, I hope the best for the people of Indiana. My thoughts go out.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tim l

    dunb remark you insensitive jerk....my brother was there!

    August 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Who are you talking to? Try using the REPLY link, duh.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Corvus1

    My heart goes out to the victims and their families. How tragic. 😦

    August 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jon

    theres 8 deaths

    August 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    Are you really that stupid?

    August 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
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