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Stage Collapse at Indiana State Fair Kills Five, Injures Dozens

Sudden storm winds send equipment crashing into crowd gathered for Sugarland, Sara Bareilles

August 14, 2011 8:55 AM ET
indiana state fair stage collapse
The crowd attempts to avoid the collapsing stage at the Indiana State Fair
Joey Foley/Getty Images

Less than a month after separate accidents at Cheap Trick and Flaming Lips concerts, a stage collapse on Saturday night at the Indiana State Fair killed at least five and injured dozens. The death toll climbed from an earlier count of three, according to Indiana State Police, and could still change as the injured are accounted for.

According to CNN, just after singer Sara Bareilles' set, a sudden gust of wind sent scaffolding and speakers crashing into the crowd. One concert goer said the stage "snapped like a toothpick," as audience members rushed to the heaps of metal to try to free those trapped. Some created makeshift stretchers out of parts of their seats to take away the injured.

"Fortunately we are all safe, but a tragic stage accident has injured some folks in indiana. Our prayers are with them and their families," said Bareilles on Twitter just after the accident. An hour later, she followed it with "I'm speechless and feel so helpless. Please send love and prayers to Indianapolis tonight. My heart aches for the lives lost. #indyiloveu."

Country duo Sugarland's Twitter feed also said "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 tragedy follows a July stage collapse at a Cheap Trick concert in Canada, and a storm-driven collapse at a Flaming Lips concert in Oklahoma earlier this month. No one was seriously injured in either incident.

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