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. aaa

    Now the fascist media police are going to moderate me for free speech? LOL

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

    Typical lib comment – say anything to get attention. Happy?

    August 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GuessWho?

    To the thoughtless people who are saying some less than appropriate things, think about this: Someones child, someones friend, someones siblings will never be heard from again. Can you imagine that pain? "The empty place at the dinner table..."- Obama.
    You people making jokes about this are horrible!! How would you feel if your best friend died in something like this? Would you expect people to laugh? I thought not...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Allyson

    Wow......then move to China

    August 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chuck

    Ok its a country fair in a republican state and some how its president obama fault for this 2 right tea baggers

    August 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • g man bush

      He shouldn't have took our jobs

      August 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Way to politicize people dying Chuck.

      Oh, by the way, Indiana voted for Obama in 08.

      Loser.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • julie b

      actually indiana voted for Obama in the election, and it wasn't a country fair, it was the State Fair which is a huge attraction every year

      August 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GuessWho?

    To the thoughtless people who are saying some less than appropriate things, think about this: Someones child, someones friend, someones siblings will never be heard from again. Can you imagine that pain? "The empty place at the dinner table..."- Obama.
    You people making jokes about this are horrible!! How would you feel if your best friend died in something like this? Would you expect people to laugh? I thought not...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • GuessWho?

      God with with their families and friends.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      No use preaching to the perverted.
      No, the families aren't reading these boards, and yes, people like/need to vent, but there are limits.
      So many people today have no class what so ever.
      Worse part, not just b/c this is anonymous -they're just as thoughtless in person.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. g man bush

    no my penis is not small

    August 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ghostonefour

    Thats what happens when you hire Union Labor...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GuessWho?

    @Matt,
    Curiosity, since when did 'liberal' become an insult? It just describes someones political beliefs...

    August 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ghost

    Mayan 2012?

    August 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • .

      No, that's a hoax.

      August 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tsewang Tashi

    its a shocking news.. i can't believe this things happens.. who is incharge>>

    August 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ruder

    videos of the even have been uploaded to facebook its crazy take a look at them. here is the link http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=110070465759055&oid=54444461143&comments

    August 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. angrybill

    Made in China?

    August 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sam

    Some people are just so sick. Get a life moron! God be with those list, injured and their families!

    August 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      What list?

      August 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wolfe

    Just confirm by state police four confirm dead.

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