The popular, Grammy Award-winning Lady Antebellum elected to cancel their planned concert show for this week, and in the wake of the collapse of a 50-foot-high stage just before the Sugarland performance at what is called the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand last Saturday at the Indiana State Fair. The tragedy killed five people, four at the site, and the fifth due to complications from injury at the hospital.
Lady Antebellum was to play on the 18th of August, this Thursday.
This blogger commented on the design of the structure and wondered why it was built the way it was. Here’s that video, which also shows the accident itself at 1:07:
Now comes a report that the accident could have been prevented. Rolling Stone has two paragraphs that comprise all you need to know about the idea that the whole event could have been avoided:
Staffers for the fair, where country stars Sugarland were scheduled to perform before 12,000 people, had contacted the National Weather Service four times between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to reports. They were preparing for far – less – dangerous 40 – mile – per – hour winds, and had made announcements suggesting that fans seek shelter. The stronger winds caught fair officials by surprise. “We were constantly trying to figure out what was coming, when it was coming, and get people to a position of safety as best we could with the information that we had,” a fair spokesperson told CBS News.
But Mike Smith, senior vice president of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, insists the fair had sufficient advance warning to prevent the tragedy. His company issued a warning for 60-mile-an-hour winds at 8:23 p.m., while the National Weather Service’s similar warning arrived 16 minutes later. The Main Grandstand Stage collapsed at 8:49. “Everyone keeps saying that this was a fluke – that it couldn’t have been foreseen,” says Smith, author of 2010’s Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. “It was quite foreseeable. The State Fair should have had someone making a call that if a weather warning was issued, the area would have been evacuated immediately.”
That flies in the face of initial reports that fair managers were evacuating concert goers.
Also, this blogger called the way the structure was built into question, and has not been alone in that claim. Stay tuned.