Celebrity News August 15, 2011
Memorial Service Held for Victims of Indiana Stage Collapse
People gathered Monday morning at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to mourn victims of Saturday's horrific events, when a stage fell on a crowd waiting for the country band Sugarland to perform.
The main stage crumbled after being blasted by winds as strong as 60 to 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Five people were killed, 45 were injured. Watch.
Shortly after the accident, Sugarland said on Twitter: "We are all right. We are praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you will join us. They need our strength."
Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles later expressed her horror in a statement to Associated Press, saying there were "no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity."
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and other state officials were also in attendance at the memorial service. "We come today with hearts that are broken, but hearts that are full," Daniels said during the service. "Our hearts are with you. My heart is full for those who acted in courageous ways. ... There was a hero every 10 feet on Saturday night."
The fair, which closed to the public on Sunday in the wake of the tragedy, is now reopened, but many are asking if the accident could have been prevented. An investigation is reportedly underway.
The National Weather Service in Indianapolis had been tracking the storm for hours and was in close contact with fair officials. The agency issued a severe thunderstorm warning -- with winds whipping at 77 mph -- at 8:39 pm, shortly before the collapse. Daniels said it did not appear that anyone could have predicted such a tragedy. "I'm not clear how anyone could have foreseen a sudden, highly localized blast of wind."
Here is footage from another tragic accident when a club caught fire during a Great White concert in 2003.