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Strong storm collapses Indiana stage, killing 4
Witnesses told WTHR that 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 there was lightning and the sky got 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 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. In April 2006, tornado-force winds hit Indianapolis just after thousands of people left a free outdoor concert by John Mellencamp held as part of the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball tournament.
And in May 2004, a tornado touched down south of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, delaying the start of the Indianapolis 500 and forcing a nearly two-hour interruption in the race.
Associated Press writer Caitlin R. King in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.
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