A blustery night turned deadly when a gust of wind upended the stage, tossing metal rigging into the crowd. In the video above, a wave of fear sweeps the crowd as the stage tumbles down.
UPDATED: Sunday, Aug. 14. 2:30 p.m. EDT.
About 12,000 spectators were gathered at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis Saturday night, awaiting a performance by country music duo Sugarland. But before the act could take the stage, an impending storm brought in fierce winds, with one gust strong enough to bring down the stage rigging at 8:50 p.m. The performance lights and support beams crumbled in a mess of twisted metal, collapsing onto bystanders. Four people died instantly, and one injured concertgoer later died at a local hospital.
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At least 5 died and more than 40 were injured in the collapse, according to Indianapolis news station WTHR, but those numbers are subject to increase as victims are uncovered. The rigging fell on people standing in a VIP area just in front of the stage. As of Sunday morning, the fair remained canceled as authorities cleaned up and investigated. Indiana State Police said Sunday morning that 45 people were transported to area hospitals after the incident, one of whom died.
Following the collapse, witnesses said hundreds of people flocked to the scene to help clear the wreckage. The Indianapolis Star noted that it took less than 20 minutes to free bystanders trapped under the metal beams.
The weather was under watch by fair officials, who were recommending that concertgoers take shelter in a covered part of the fair. The evacuation, according to WTHR, was in full force when the stage collapsed, an effort they anticipate prevented many more injuries.
But earlier in the evening, there was no sign of weather troubles. According to the Indianapolis Star, opening act Sara Bareilles finished her set by commenting what a beautiful night it was. She quickly took to Twitter to express her condolences for those lost, saying,” I’m speechless and feel so helpless. Please send love and prayers to Indianapolis tonight. My heart aches for the lives lost.”
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