Indianapolis Stage Collapse Aftermath

Collapse came moments after an announcer warned of the advancing storm

Sunday, August 14, 2011

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.

Afterward, hundreds of concert-goers rushed amid the chaos to tend to the injured, many trying to lift heavy beams, lights and other equipment that blew onto the crowd. Witnesses said many of the injured were in the VIP section closest to the stage, known as the "Sugar Pit." Emergency crews set up a triage center in a tunnel below the grandstand at the Indianapolis fairgrounds.

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