Stage Collapses at Indiana State Fair Killing Five Fairgoers
As crews sift through debris of a concert stage that collapsed at the Indiana State Fair, trying to determine what caused the accident that killed five people and injured at least 45, the innocent people affected by this tragedy are trying to copy physically, emotionally, and financially.
The Indiana State Fair shutdown Saturday after a stage collapsed during a powerful storm sending steel scaffolding into the crowd and killing at least five people, and injuring at least 45 as they waited for the start of a performance by the country band, Sugarland. The injuries run the gamut from broken bones to head injuries and severe bruises; some injuries are so severe that the death toll could rise.
A severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for Marion County with 60 mph winds a full half-hour before the stage collapsed. Fair officials said they had been monitoring the weather and were constantly trying to "figure out what was coming, when it was coming, and get people to a position of safety as best they could with the information that we had." But, they were also reported saying that concert organizers hoped the show would go on. It wasn't until shortly before 9 p.m. that a fair announcer warned patrons that severe weather was possible giving evacuation instructions, if necessary. But, according to attendees and workers, the emergency sirens never sounded. Unfortunately, for fairgoers, a "significant gust of wind" struck the staging moments later causing it to collapse; they had no time to escape.
If severe weather was predicted, why was the fair allowed to continue? Indiana is known to be volatile to quick changes in weather and severe storms and tornados, and everyone knows that weather can change quickly. An imminent storm should not have been taken so lightly; the fair should have been shutdown for the safety of fairgoers.
Investigations will determine what really caused the steel scaffolding to give way. Was the scaffolding erected and secured properly? Why didn’t fair officials shut it down, if only as a precautionary measure for so many patrons? Why did they wait to make an announcement only 15 minutes before the storm was predicted to strike the area?
There will most likely be lawsuits filed. After retaining an attorney, seeking justice may place a financial burden on the victims and their family. These plaintiffs may be experiencing problems paying bills, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, mortgage, rent, and daily expenses dye to the loss of wages.
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