Indiana State Fair opens again after stage collapse

Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles: “A piece of our heart is left in that grandstand”

The Indiana State Fair has reopened 48 hours after a stage collapsed, killing five people.

A storm brought winds of up to 70mph to the site collapsing the stage, before a gig to be played by country music act, Sugarland. The band’s singer Jennifer Nettles said on their website:

There are no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity. There are only prayers for peace in the hearts of the bereft, and prayers of thanksgiving for those who were spared or safe. A piece of our heart is left in that grandstand. May God provide peace and healing to the people of Indianapolis.

A memorial took place today to honour the five who lost their lives.

Conflicting arguments over whether the accident could have been avoided have also started to emerge, with some saying extra precautions against severe weather conditions needed to be taken.

Mike Smith, senior vice president of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, said:

It was quite foreseeable. The State Fair should have had someone making a call that if a weather warning was issued, the area would have been evacuated immediately.

The Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, had called the incident a “fluke”.

As well as the five who lost their lives, 48 people were hospitalised in the incident.