HolyCoast: Tragedy at the Indiana State Fair

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tragedy at the Indiana State Fair

Just as I was leaving the Orange County Fair I saw this story hit Twitter:
Three people were killed and 24 injured tonight when the grandstand stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, according to Indiana State Police Capt. Brad Weaver

Capt. Brad Weaver, commander of special operations for the Indiana State Police, confirmed the deaths and said the wounded were taken to Methodist and Wishard hospitals.

The fans at the Indiana State Fairgrounds' Hoosier Lottery Grandstand were being evacuated tonight to the nearby Pepsi Coliseum when a wind gust brought down the stage rigging for the country music concert.

The gust of the wind brought down the production equipment shortly before 9 p.m. tonight, according to Indianapolis Star reporter David Lindquist, who was at the fairgrounds for the Sugarland concert.

"The entire stage rigging collapsed, this is bad, this is very bad," Lindquist said moments after it happened.

Medics and rescue crews throughout Indianapolis converged on the State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St. Roads in and around the fairgrounds were blocked to allow ambulances to get in and out of the track area.
There's some out-of-focus amateur video of the moment the storm collapsed the rigging:

There's video of the rescue efforts here.

And there's an amazing set of still pictures on Facebook of the stage and sky right before the storm hit, and then the aftermath of the collapse.

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