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. Ridiculous

    What a poor miserable person you must be to say or even think something like that.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. what_ever

    I can see where he's coming from, though. The GOP will ruin our country.

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

    kill that facking n1ggher boy, dem koonz dont deserve life.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. freek52001

    GOD BLESS THE INJURED AND THE FAMILYS OF THE DECEASED...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      realityhurts–suffering is a direct result of sin.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Micki

    This is the third time a stage has collapsed in two years. One in Camrose, Alberta, one in Ottawa, Ontario, now this. The stage engineers have to beef up the stage structures for inclement weather. How many have to die?

    August 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adnank

      The simplest solution is not to have large outdoor concerts during thunderstorms.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dgkdgk

    STFU, you ignorant azzhole.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    Of course you can see where he's coming from. Because you probably just changed your name to support your own stupid comment.

    Nice try. Move on moron.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jillian

    stfu you insensitive a$$wipe

    August 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marie

    The wind gusts may have reached 60 mph.. the area was being evacuated b4 it hit... storm came up suddenly...at least 4 dead, many trapped

    August 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kaylasmommie

    WOW the chinese prolly made the dang thing but that is besides the point i have friends there right now so yes i am more worried about them than the chinese excuse me for praying for my fellow americans and friends!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    Seriously? You are an idiot. People died. Show some respect!!

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

    Democrat....^^^^

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

    Wow, really? I was there, and it wasn't minor. People were screaming, and saying they didn't want to die. 8 confirmed dead, over 30 injured.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DAT

    Wow! You're really a classy human being.

    August 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    Typical liberals.

    You just put in writing how badly you suffer from a mental disorder....

    August 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
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