How the Sugarland Stage Tragedy Could Have Been Prevented (VIDEO)

sugarland stage collapseSaturday night's deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair was tragic enough when we thought it was a freak accident, something no one saw coming. But now that we know what happened at the Sugarland concert could have been prevented, the disaster becomes even more horrifying. It turns out State Fair officials and police knew that a storm with winds up to 77 m.p.h. was approaching, which meant the Grandstand area should have been evacuated ... but they waited too long to tell the audience. Now 5 people are dead, and another 45 are injured.

Strangely, the powers that be at the State Fair weren't the only ones to get a severe weather warning from the National Weather Service that night. Fifteen miles away at Conner Prairie, the organizers of another outdoor concert (this one by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra) got the same tip-off about perilously high winds approaching.

Their response, however, was not the same at all.


While the crowd at the State Fair was told that it might start raining soon but the show would still go on, the audience waiting to see the Indiana Symphony Orchestra perform was instructed to immediately return to their cars as the show was being called off due to the approach of a dangerous storm.

No one was hurt at Conner Prairie. So why didn't State Fair officials make the same judgment call?

The winds that knocked down the overhead rigging (which then fell on the audience) were estimated to be in the range of 60 to 70 m.p.h. As previously mentioned, State Fair officials were alerted to the possibility of 77 m.p.h. winds. Technically, they should have been prepared for an even bigger catastrophe.

Was it the logistics of evacuating a large crowd that caused State Fair officials to put off the decision to evacuate? Did they expect the stage to weather the storm without a problem?

Indiana State Police, along with the Indiana State Fire Marshal's office, the Marion County Coroner's office, and other institutions, are investigating the collapse, but it could be weeks or even months before grieving families get any answers.

Why do you think Indiana State Fair officials didn't evacuate the crowd before the stage collapsed?

Image via YouTube

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