Indiana State Fair Worker Says Sugarland Stage Collapse Was ‘Avoidable’
An Indiana State Fair employee says the accident that resulted in seven deaths moments before Sugarland was to begin their set on August 13 was "criminal." The unidentified employee says the stage wasn't meant to stand up to such severe weather, indicating that organizers should have done more to warm fans of the danger they were in.
WRTV in Indianapolis interviewed the man, who asked to not have his voice or picture shown on television. He's identified only as a stage worker. It's not clear if he's also on an expert on engineering or meteorology. "It can be used in any type of weather, other than stormy weather or severe weather with a lot of wind," the man said of the grandstand stage. "It's not really meant for severe weather, period."
"Lives were lost, people were injured. That's criminal, as far as I'm concerned," he adds. "It's unfortunate, very unfortunate, that people had to lose their life or become injured when it could've been avoided."
The Indiana State Fair Commission says it's hired an engineering firm to investigate the collapse and in a statement said their findings will be "based on facts."
In addition to the seven people killed, over 40 people were injured -- some severely -- when strong winds caused the light and sound rigging to topple over. Sugarland say they're planning a private memorial for all friends and family members of the victims.