Saturday Night: Indiana State Fair Tragedy

Saturday night 8:50 pm EST: at the Indiana State Fair near Indianapolis a wind gust toppled the stage rigging.  As of the latest news report, five people were killed and forty were injured.  There are some who are severely injured.

The stage collapses at the Indiana State Fair Saturday in Indianapolis, Indiana. The stage fell just before country duo Sugarland were scheduled to perform, killing at least four people and injuring as many as 40 more. Photograph by: Joey Foley, AFP/Getty Images

Quote from the INDYSTAR:

“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…

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.”

Sugarland, the Country-Western duo, was scheduled to perform shortly before the stage collapsed. On their website was this statement:

We are all right after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you”

In the video taken by a fan it shows the wind coming through and ripping the stage down like a child would do with an erector set.  The video is graphic.  It can be found in the references below.  YouTube requires that you log in to view it.

Let’s remember those who grieve this day.  Keep the injured in our thoughts and prayers.

G. D. Williams       © 2011

Calgary Herald

6 News

Mail Online

The Telegraph

Huffington Post

13 News



INC Now Names of the Victims

The Marion County Coroner’s office identifies the victims killed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse as 23-year-old Alina Bigjohny of Fort Wayne, 29-year-old Christina Santiago of Chicago, and three Indianapolis residents: 42-year-old Tammy Vandam, 49-year-old Glenn Goodrich and 51-year-old Nathan Byrd.

Byrd was the fifth person who died overnight following the accident. Reports indicate he was a spotlight worker who was somewhere on the stage when it came down before the band Sugarland was set to play.