Indiana governor calls stage collapse a 'fluke event'

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Image Credit: Darron Cummings/AP Images

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels called the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed five Sugarland fans on Saturday night a “fluke event,” and praised the response of ordinary Hoosiers who responded by rescuing those trapped or injured by the collapse. The National Weather Service had warned of an intense storm, and a warning was made to the crowd just minutes before the stage toppled. The gusts that caused the collapse were estimated to be between 60 and 70 miles per hour.

This morning, the State Fair in Indianapolis will reopen, following a remembrance service attended by Daniels and his wife. Watch a video clip of the rapid response to the disaster below.

Read more:
Sara Bareilles responds to Indiana State Fair collapse
Stage collapse at Sugarland show, kills five

Comments (56 total) Add your comment
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  • Francisco

    My thoughts are with the families of those hwo died as well as with those who were injured. I hope the state investigates this matter to determine if the stage was built to spec and that human error did not play a factor.

    • abadstroller

      Contrary to the knuckle-head who are writing their smart-@ssery, the people who rushed immediately to assist fellow human beings in need–without regard to who the victims were, what kind of music they like, what their political leanings were–are the one who deserve attention for their selflessness and compassion.

      • abadstroller

        Self-correction: “knuckle-heads” (moronic in their singularity and their group think).

      • Helenann

        Let’s not forget they did it without consideration that more might blow over while doing it…they put their own lives in danger to help others, and that is the BEST of humanity right there.

      • abadstroller

        Exactly, Helenann: From the various videos that have been released, you could see people jumping right in to help immediately (some turning to their friends and family telling them to get to safety first before assisting). Think about it: The fallen stage and canopy was like a giant pickup sticks pile or jenga tower–moving one thing could cause something else to fall or to shift. Also, the possibility of electrocution due to fallen power lines/rigging conducting electricity through the metal structure to victims and rescuers…. Not every one would or could step up, and, like you, I’m in awe of the “regular people” volunteer rescuers and moved by their concern for their fellow human being.

  • Two Headed Sex Beast

    I just can’t wait for this whole thing to blow over.

    • abadstroller

      You are a twit…go back to your Doritos-dust covered couch and wait this one out. We’ll come find you later. NOT.

      • Two Headed Sex Beast

        Show me your twits!

      • abadstroller

        I don’t have to…you’ve shown me yours…and they are shrivelled and pathetic like your SOUL.

      • Two Headed Sex Beast

        Yeah but you’ve got to admit this is one blow job that really sucked.

      • abadstroller

        (sighhhhhhhh) You’re looking for the last word on this, aren’t you? Okay, if it means that much to you and gives you a reason to live, you can have it: That last one was ever so marginally amusing….

      • Two Headed Sex Beast

        Yeah that’s what she said.

      • Michelle

        adabstroller…don’t feed the trolls.

      • Two Headed Sex Beast

        Seriously.

  • Rob

    Before the Governor states it was a fluke event, an investigation should reveal if it was indeed a “fluke” like the weather OR the result of shoddy construction. I sense he’s trying to avoid lawsuits since it was a STATE fair.

    • Can’t Prevent Everything

      You think this was done on purpose?

      Just using some common sense here, but if a big gust of wind caught that tarped stage, I’d think it would blow like a parachute attached to a lawn chair.

      Heck, they let Notre Dame off with a slap on the wrist after that poor graduate assistant was blown off the riser taping a football practice and he died. This wasn’t something that could’ve been prevented.

    • marik

      I think the governor meant “unusual” when he used the word “fluke.” He was suggesting that no one could have predicted the collapse. From what I’ve read, no one was required to inspect the structure, so it’s obvious that no prediction could have been made. The governor is simply trying to absolve the state and private industry of responsibility. You know, “The buck stops there.”

  • Z

    Concert venues need to quit this “rain or shine” BS. When the National Weather Service is predicting an intense storm, outdoor concerts should be canceled. You don’t wait until the wind begins to reach 70 mph before you tell the crowd to leave.

    • Z

      And that stage must have been poorly constructed. 70 mph winds is a lot, but a properly constructed stage wouldn’t have collapsed like that.

      • annie

        The point is, no one should have been there Sat. night! The fair should’ve CLOSED EARLY! What’s more important, LIVES OR A CONCERT? LIVES OF COURSE!

    • Christina

      Not sure if you’ve ever even been to Indiana, but the weather here is extremely unpredictable. I was about 2 hours north of Indianapolis this weekend and they were predicting hail. The storm suddenly changed direction and completely missed us. It was stormy one minute and sunny the next. No one can possibly predict the weather here perfectly and canceling a concert based on predictions would be arbitrary. Since hindsight is 20/20, yes, this time the concert should have been canceled or evacuated sooner. But the governor is right saying that this was a fluke accident.

      • Z

        I live in Michigan, so we have some unpredictable weather here sometimes too. But I’m sure a warning could have been made more than just a few minutes before the stage actually collapsed.

      • steph

        Indiana RARELY gets wind shears that far in advance of a storm…My friend was saying how she was sitting outside and noticed the sky getting black, then all of a sudden there was a huge gust of wind and her tree was bending. I fully believe that this was some kind of a freak accident.

      • Alicia

        I was at the State Fair all day on Saturday. It was sunny and nice the whole time I was there. I don’t think there’s any way they could have predicted that freak gust of wind in front of the storm.

  • jared4ever

    “A fluke event” Wow that explanation makes me feel so much better. What a relief that experts are on top of this and are doing a thorough investigation. That clears everything up. No need to hold anyone responsible huh? Is that what he’s trying to say??

    • Peter

      Maybe there isn’t. I know people like to have a head to roll for every tragedy, but sometimes things do just happen. Sorry if that scares you.

      • Mark

        “Scares you”? Why would you even say that? Jared is asking for a proper investigation prior to drawing the conclusion the gov did. Something wrong with that?

      • Peter

        Of course, do a proper investigation. That doesn’t mean there’s going to be someone to blame, and as I read Jared’s post, it sounds like he’s scared (“Wow that explanation makes me feel so much better.” — he wants to be made to feel better) and wants someone to blame (“No need to hold anyone responsible huh? Is that what he’s trying to say??”)

      • jared4ever

        Uhh Peter, what I’m saying is how can he know it’s a “fluke event” until he’s done an investigation. There may very well be major negligence at play and that is no fluke, it could be criminal.

  • lac

    What’s up with Sugarland? They were supposed to perform in Tuscaloosa the day of the huge tornados back in April, and now this — weather jinxed.

  • Jefffro

    I attended the Country Thunder festival in Twin Lakes Wisconsin about twelve years ago…..there was a sudden microburst storm and it brought a similar kind of stage right to the ground. There was hardly any warning and when we did get informed to take shelter…..we did not even have time to get to our car.

    This was a terrible tragedy…..but it is possible that it was also a fluke event…..one that would have been impossible to predict.

  • SugarlandFan

    If the victims weren’t fans of terrible bands such as Sugarland, then they wouldn’t have been in the accident. They had it coming.

    • Mike

      First of all, it’s a country duo with a backing band, not a BAND. 2nd of all…real classy.

  • Ron Swanson

    I never thought anything could top the passing of Lil Sebastian.

    • Adam

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • Common Sense

    ‘Fluke Event’…really? That’s like saying getting electrocuted while flying a kite in a lighting storm is a fluke event. Again, don’t hold concerts, and don’t go outside when the National Weather Service issues a hazardous weather alert and there are gusts of wind up to 60-70 mph.

  • Pam

    Writing from Indy here. Fact is, Saturday was supposed to be a pleasant day, with a chance of pop-up showers. We didn’t expect thunderstorms until shortly before the event, and in fact, the NWS projected storms hitting the fairgrounds at about 9:10 or 9:15 p.m. At about 8:45, the thunderstorm warning was posted for Marion county; the state police and fair team were in the process of starting the evacuation protocols, but the (completely unexpected) wind gust arrived at 8:49. There are enough sad people right now; let the evaluation process occur, and please don’t point fingers until professionals have reviewed all the data.

  • Emily Gordon

    God has a hardon for that Sugarland band I tell you.
    First Tuscaloosa where they were supposed to play and now Indy.

    I hope this wises up all of the hick country fans and makes them move on to a new and different form of music, say rock and roll for starters.

    Will the country hicks ever put two and two together? Here’s hoping but I doubt it.

    A generational addiction to beers and tears will tell them ….no.

    • GOD

      SHWING!!!

  • Jake Tomatta

    God has a hardon for that Sugarland band I tell you.
    First Tuscaloosa where they were supposed to play and now Indy.

    I hope this wises up all of the hick country fans and makes them move on to a new and different form of music, say rock and roll for starters.

    Will the country hicks ever put two and two together? Here’s hoping but I doubt it.

    A generational addiction to beers and tears will tell them ….”no”

    Maybe we have to just take it away from them like we did to the south in the Civil War.

  • Lame Assed Politicians

    Fluke Event should read:

    Governor: “We can’t afford a massive state lawsuit in an election season, so it’s a fluke I tell ya, a fluke!”

    Public Relations Officer: “Got it boss”

  • Lame Assed Politicians Can Bit ME!

    Fluke Event should read:

    Indiana Governor: “We can’t afford a massive state lawsuit in an election season, so it’s a fluke I tell ya, a fluke!”

    Indiana State Public Relations Officer: “Got it boss”

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