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The wind that toppled the rigging came just minutes after that announcement, fans said.

“It was like it was in slow motion,” concert-goer Amy Weathers told the Indianapolis Star. “You couldn’t believe it was actually happening.”

Associated Press photographer Darron Cummings was in the audience attending the concert as a fan shortly before the collapse. He said he and his companions sought shelter in a nearby barn after seeing the weather radar and eyeing dark clouds approaching.

“Then we heard screams. We heard people just come running,” Cummings told the AP. “When you see dark clouds like that if there’s going to be bad weather, there’s going to be mass chaos on leaving.”

Witnesses told WTHR that some of the injured were in a VIP section in front of the stage known as the “Sugar Pit.” The witnesses said the dirt, dust, rain and wind came up the main thoroughfare of the fairgrounds just before the collapse.

“Panic kicked in when they seen the dust bowl coming in from the Midway,” concert-goer Darryl Cox told the television station.

Another person at the concert, Emily Davis, told the station that there was lightning and the sky had gotten dark but it wasn’t raining when the wind suddenly toppled the rigging.

“It was horrible, people were running and going crazy,” she said.

Jessica Alsman told the AP the towering, metal stage scaffolding “kind of wobbled at first.” Then pandemonium set in as it fell.

“As soon as we saw the wind gust, the wind was in our faces,” Alsman said. She said and three friends grabbed each other and formed a chain.

“You can’t imagine _ we just thought it was going to rain or something,” Alsman said.

Sugarland tweeted about the incident about an hour after it happened.

“We are all right. We are praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you’ll join us. They need your strength,” the band said.

Indiana’s position in the Midwest has long made it prone to volatile changes in weather. But even Wishard Memorial Hospital’s spokesman, Harper, said he was surprised how things blew up without warning.

“I was at home watching a movie and I looked outside and all of a sudden the wind picked up. It had been a beautiful day up until then and then it started raining _ and then I started getting calls on the pager.”

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