Indiana Fair to Reopen After Fatal Stage Collapse

August 15, 2011

The Indiana State Fair canceled its Sunday activities after a deadly stage collapse.

At least four people died and dozens were injured Saturday when a strong wind gust toppled the rigging on the stage where country band Sugarland was scheduled to perform. The towering metal scaffolding fell onto fans waiting for the band to take the stage.

Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said only fair workers and those needed to care for animals would be on site Sunday.

The fair will reopen Monday with a memorial service for the victims. The fair runs through Aug. 21.

Four people were killed and about 40 people were injured when a stage collapsed where country act Sugarland was set to perform.

No one was performing at the time, witnesses said. The opening act had finished, and the crowd was waiting for Sugarland to take the stage.

Bursten told The Associated Press that a “strong gust of wind upset the rigging above the stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and caused a collapse of the structure over the stage.”

Bursten said the injuries ranged from “very serious to cuts and scrapes.”

Emergency crews were called to the scene, and workers were setting up a command center to tend to those who were injured.

The collapse came as many of the concert-goers, wary of the change in the weather, were trying to leave the grandstand. The stage rigging fell onto an area where some fans were seated.