In the wake of the stage rigging collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed five and injured over forty others prior to a Sugarland performance, the Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has responded, calling the disaster both “an unthinkable tragedy” and “a fluke.”
Our thoughts and condolences are with the families of the five deceased: Glenn Goodrich, who was working security, and allegedly saved two others from the collapse; lighting operator Nathan Byrd; and three fans: Alina Bigjohny, Tammy Vandam, and Christina Santiago. Sugarland’s opening act Sara Bareilles also released a statement, calling the “horribly tragic” collapse an “accident,” and pledging that she and her staff would “do whatever we possibly can to help heal the hurt from this very sad day.”
As we noted when the story first broke, this is the third collapse that has occurred on a temporary stage due to high wind preceding a thunderstorm. The Indiana State Fair received notice of the National Weather Service’s storm warning five minutes before the collapse, which despite what is reported to have been an efficient response, was obviously simply not enough time.
We are not meteorologists, but three collapses within a month due to flash thunderstorms during the peak of the Atlantic’s tropical storm season seems like either a remarkable coincidence or a series of occurrences for which better preparations ought to have been made. We are not, mind you, suggesting negligence, but rather that safety standards for temporary stages may need an upgrade (and if so, we hope that happens soon, and we wish it had happened before anyone was killed).
[Image: Getty Images]