From the Indianapolis Star: But the weather near the Indiana State Fairgrounds was starting to get dicey. Backstage, State Police special operations commander Brad Weaver was watching an ugly storm moving in on radar via his smartphone. He and fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye decided it was time to evacuate the crowd.
But a minute later, when WLHK program director Bob Richards addressed the crowd, the word was that the show would go on, and that the crowd should be prepared to find shelter if things changed. Some of the crowd sensed the danger and left without further word. But the majority remained.
Seconds later, a fierce wind blew in from the direction of the midway, kicking up what one witness described as "a canopy of dust."
In a moment that eyewitnesses described as both terrifying and in slow motion, the massive rigging above the stage bearing lights, sound equipment and at least one crew member swayed menacingly and then came crashing down on the crowd.
Four people were killed and 40 were injured severely enough that they needed to be taken to local hospitals. More than 150 were treated at a makeshift triage unit at the fairgrounds itself. It was a fairgrounds tragedy eclipsed in scale only by a 1963 propane tank explosion at the Coliseum that killed 74 people.
http://www.indystar.com/article/20110814/NEWS15/108140419/4-dead-more-than-40-injured-State-Fair-stage-collapses?odyssey=moddefcontextIndyStar.com This is at least the second major concert that ended in a severe thunder storm that collapsed in a thunder storm. Earlier this year, Cheap Trick was on stage when a severe thunder storm hit, injuring many people:
http://lasvegasbadger.blogspot.com/2011/07/cheap-trick-barely-survives-severe.html Outside concerts, just like sporting events, have an element of risk when there is bad weather. I am just amazed that more incidents involving bad weather and outside events don't happen more often.
Grew up in Wauwatosa but graduated from Oconomowoc H.S.. graduated from U.W. Madison, after serving in the Air Force. Taught in MPS and Westfield School District. Coached Special Olympics for several years. Moved to Las Vegas 2 1/2 years ago and teach in the CCSD as a special education teacher.