5 Killed, Over 45 Injured At Sara Bareilles / Sugarland Concert
A terrible tragedy at the Indiana State Fair left 5 people dead and at least 45 people injured, as a storm front was moving in. The Indiana State Police called the fair organizers and reported strong winds causing a “pause” in the concert after Sara Bareilles left the stage and before the country act Sugarland was set to perform.
As thousands gathered at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for a good summertime concert featuring Sara Bareilles, opening up for Sugarland, unexpected tragedy struck. CNN.com reports that the National Weather Service estimated the wind gust that caused the massive stage to collapse to be between 60 and 70 mph. That caused the tarps atop the stage to rip away and eventually causing the stage trusses and frame to twist and fall on those surrounding the stage.
Allison Hoehn, a concertgoer, said many attendees rushed to those trapped after the stage crumbled.
“We tried to get down to help, but no one was moving,” Hoehn said. “The storm came on so fast and the stage just snapped like a toothpick.”
Hoehn also stated that,
“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.”
Just an hour or two before the catastrophe, the sky was sunny. The midway was fully operational and rides running. Thousands gathered to watch country music duo Sugarland and singer Sara Bareilles. In between the two acts a sudden down-burst of wind took the stage down in a few seconds.
Capt. Brad Weaver, commander of special operations for the Indiana State Police, said he took the stage at 8:45 p.m. to warn the audience of severe weather. Ten minutes later, the wind gust blew through, collapsing the stage’s frame and down it came.
Sara Barilles had just finished her set and left the stage. She tweeted,
“I’m speechless and feel so helpless. My heart aches for the lives lost.”
Country music act Sugarland’s singer Jennifer Nettles also issued a statement on Twitter,
“We are stunned and heartbroken for the fans and their families in Indiana,” we hold those injured in our prayers at this very sad time. There are no words. It is tragic.”