Post image for Indiana State Fair reopens after weekend tragedy

Indiana State Fair reopens after weekend tragedy

by Jorge Hernandez on August 15, 2011

Two days after five people were killed when a concert stage collapsed, the Indiana State Fair reopened with a memorial service for the victims. CNN reports those in the audience remembered the victims with a moment of silence and a rendition of "Amazing Grace."

The tragedy occurred Saturday night just before the county duo Sugarland was slated to perform. Investigators believe the collapse was caused when a 60 to 70 mile per hour wind gust toppled the scaffolding. Forecasters had warned about the possibility of severe weather and officials announced evacuation details just before the stage gave way. In addition to killing five people, the collapse injured around 40 more, some with minor cuts and bruises and others with broken bones.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has said that the incident was a freak occurrence, but that investigators will be working hard to find if there was anything event organizers could have done to prevent the loss of life.

"I'm not saying that we're not going to find many things that could have been done differently," Daniels told the news provider. "I'm only saying that I know the people who run this operation. They think safety all the time, and I know that their hearts are broken that, in this case, this event took place as it did."

The incident has weighed heavily on Sugarland and opening act Sara Barellis, who exited the stage minutes before it collapsed. Jennifer Nettles, the band's lead singer, released a statement on their website about the tragedy.

"There are no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity," she wrote. "There are only prayers for peace in the hearts of the bereft, and prayers of thanksgiving for those who were spared or safe."

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