Fifth Person Dies in Indiana Stage Collapse

More from the mayhem at the Indiana State Fair last night
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2011 10:58 AM CDT
Updated Aug 14, 2011 11:43 AM CDT

A stage collapsed during a powerful storm at the Indiana State Fair last night, sending steel scaffolding into the terrified crowd and killing at least five people awaiting a performance by the country band Sugarland. Indiana State Police 1st Sgt David Bursten said today that four people died when the collapse happened and a fifth person died overnight at a hospital. At least 45 people were injured and treated at hospitals. Bursten said the injuries ranged from cuts and scrapes to "very serious injuries."

The collapse came moments after an announcer warned of the advancing storm and gave instructions on what to do in event of an evacuation, reports the AP. 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. Fair officials canceled all activities today. The fair, which runs through Aug. 21, was expected to resume tomorrow with a service honoring the victims. Sugarland and opening act Sara Bareilles canceled their show today at the Iowa State Fair. (More Sugarland stories.)

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