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Old 08-14-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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Stage collapse at Indiana State Fair

Found out that a friend of mines friend's family member was right up front when the stage collapsed. Luckily they were unhurt.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A stage collapsed during a powerful storm at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, sending steel scaffolding into the terrified crowd and killing at least four people awaiting a performance by the country band Sugarland.
The collapse came moments after an announcer warned of the advancing storm and gave instructions on what to do in event of an evacuation. Witnesses said a wall of dirt, dust and rain blew up quickly like a dust bowl and a burst of high wind toppled the rigging. People ran, screaming and shouting, desperate to get out of the way.


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Old 08-14-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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There was a similar collapse in Ottawa recently as well,

Luckily no one was killed though. I heard Cheap Trick is suing. I wonder what the heck is going on? Unqualified workers and cutting corners?


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Old 08-14-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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Death toll is up to five now.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Storm winds can be extremely powerful, I have my doubts it was unqualified individuals who build the deck, any structure subjected to enough force will collapse.

When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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It was a very strange occurance. It apparently was a gustnado that was out in front of storm front.

The radar showed that at the time it hit, there was nothing showing except the oncoming storm front the was west of the fairgrounds. Since it was relatively clear with no moisture or debris, it could not show up on radar until there was something in the air. It apparently is like a "down-burst" storm that is a rapidly occurring storm that requires ground and damage analysis to determine if it was a tornado (circular winds) of a downburst (outward flow of winds).

We had a major league baseball game start delayed about 15 minutes before the scheduled start by the stadium meteorologist when there was a clear sky, no visible clouds, but just right conditions. After a quick wind storm, the main storm front came through and it was possible to predict at what time the game would be started and let the 40,0000 people back into their seats.

Those odd storms can be very unpredictable and damaging, so I guess that is why they have warnings and watches in advance. They are not predictable like hurricanes where you know well ahead of time.

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Old 08-14-2011, 02:00 PM   #6
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Here are some pictures for those with a facebook account.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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I'm sorry ,but I just don't trust federal,or state. And in this case, this was a state fair and I'm sure the governor was the overseer for the whole affair. If President Obama was to give a speech that night, or some big name politician, the gathering of thousands of people would have been canceled. But there's badly needed money at stake here, and I'm sure the police had up to date information on the weather front, but did nothing, although their job is to protect and serve. I say ,don't find excuses for the ones in power, I say get to the bottom of it, and get people fired who thought of their overtime first. Does anybody know if they had lateral guy wires ,like at the big radio station towers? Like at Pearl Harbor, I want confirmation !
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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From my friend, who was there.

Guy came out on the stage about 5 minutes before this happened and said the band was going to come out in a couple of minutes and play until the storm came and then if they had to leave then we'd need to go to the buildings behind the grandstand and wait it out until they could resume.

We had brought ponchos which probably made us stay a little longer than we otherwise would have because I was checking radar on my phone and it was pretty clear we were going to get soaked. We stayed for a minute or so after the guy spoke but then saw them start to cover all the audio equipment and whatnot with plastic. We decided we'd go ahead and beat the crowd so we left our seats. Probably 30-45 seconds later (enough for us to get down the aisle towards the right if you are looking at the stage and to the back of the seats on the track) you heard people start yelling because dirt on the track started picking up. I turned around to see the dirt and then saw the stage go.

People started FREAKING out and I thought for a second that Holly and I were going to get trampled. We managed to get down the track ok and got out of the entire concert area. We went into the nearest building by there, which happened to be where they keep all the big-ass horses that show at the fair. The aisles there were SO narrow and there were so many people. With the storm coming too, we had visions of the horses freaking out and more chaos so we got out of there. Worked our way through buildings and back to the car.

I'm still not quite right this afternoon. We obviously saw all of the people who were in the general admission area prior to the accident (one of whom was one of Holly's teacher friends, who we found out later is ok). Especially hard thinking about the little kids we saw in there (our eyes are trained for them). There area 3 at Riley Children's Hospital and I'm pretty sure I know which exact 3.

Turns out that the wind burst that knocked the stage over was the front coming through and was about 10-15 minutes ahead of the rain. Definitely not the hardest wind I've ever felt by a long shot. Just a freak thing combined with some possibly questionable structural design/build.

Just feel very lucky. Not the relaxing, stress-free weekend I needed, but could've been MUCH worse.
A picture he took from his seat, prior to the storm:


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