Five people are dead and dozens others hospitalized after the main stage of the Indiana State Fair collapsed Saturday night when a gust of strong winds blew through Indianapolis just moments before the band Sugarland was scheduled to take the stage.
The Indianapolis Star reported that the concerts organizers planned to evacuate the crowd in advance of the bad weather but the winds that caused the accident preceded the actual storm. Some of the fairgoers had enough foresight to begin leaving the fairgrounds as the storm approached but no official evacuation was in action when the stage actually collapsed. After the stage collapse attendees immediately came to the aid of the people caught under the wreckage and were able to free everyone underneath within twenty minutes. A press conference was held at 10 AM Sunday morning where Gov. Mitch Daniels commended fairgoers for their acts of heroism.
“What you saw last night was a display of best qualities, both public and private, of Hoosiers,” said Daniels.
Watch an amateur video that first captures the violent winds and then the horrifying collapse of the main stage. Be warned, the video is very graphic.
The fair was cancelled Sunday and will resume Monday at 8AM with a memorial service being held at 9AM on The Free Stage.