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Saturday
Aug132011

Stage Collapses Before Sugarland Concert; Four Reported Dead

Joey Foley/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) -- At least four people are reported dead and more than 40 more are injured following the collapse of a stage at the Indiana State Fair Saturday night prior to a concert there by the country music duo Sugarland.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the stage rigging collapsed shortly before 9 p.m., trapping some concert goers for nearly an hour.  Strong winds are to blame for the incident. Video taken following the collapse and posted on YouTube shows what appears to be heavy winds, as well as fallen scaffolding and torn roofing fabric. 

ABC News affiliate WRTV reports that the Marion County Coroner's Office confirmed the fatalities, with more possible.

Shortly after the incident, Sugarland tweeted, "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 duo's Jennifer Nettles later issued a statement through their publicist, declaring, "We are stunned and heartbroken for the fans and their families in Indiana. We hold those injured in our prayers at this very sad time. There are no words. It is tragic." 

The Indianapolis area was hit by severe thunderstorms Saturday evening, with winds forecast to reach as high as 60 miles per hour and one-inch diameter hail also possible.

Saturday night's incident comes in the wake of a similar stage collapse at the Ottawa, Canada Bluesfest on July 18 just after a concert by the rock band Cheap Trick.  High winds were blamed for that collapse, which injured several people.  Additionally, on August 7, high winds and rain cause the collapse of stage rigging prior to a concert by The Flaming Lips in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The audience was evacuated because of the weather prior to the collapse, so no one was injured.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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