Indiana State Fair reopens with memorial service

INDIANAPOLIS Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:29pm EDT

1 of 3. Concertgoers and emergency personnel hold up stage rigging after it collapsed minutes before a concert by Sugarland at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis August 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Baker

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INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - The Indiana State Fair reopened on Monday with a half-hour service remembering those who died following the collapse of its main concert stage over the weekend in heavy wind.

The disaster, which killed five people and injured scores more, occurred on Saturday night and the fair had been shut down on Sunday.

"There was a hero every 10 feet Saturday night," Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said at the service, recalling how concert-goers rushed toward the collapsed stage and scaffolding to free the trapped and rescue the injured.

"We come today with hearts that are broken but also hearts that are filled."

"Our first love, our first concern is with our neighbors and our first job is to get back to the business of living,"Daniels said.

Fair officials were still updating changes to its schedule on Monday. A fireworks display set for the fair's final night has been canceled. No announcements have been made regarding big entertainment acts, including Janet Jackson, Train and Maroon5, that had been scheduled to perform this week.

The fair appearance was no longer on Jackson's website tour information but Maroon5 still had the performance on its site.

More than 40 people were injured in the Saturday stage collapse just minutes before the country duo Sugarland was set to begin performing.

Concert officials had informed spectators prior to the show that the concert might have to be postponed due to the weather, but a strong gust blew the stage over before any official evacuation order was issued.

Asked in a CNN interview on Monday whether more precautions should have been taken in light of the storm forecast, Daniels said: "Obviously everyone regrets the outcome here, but you know our first instinct in Indiana is not to go rushing around looking for scapegoats."

He said separately on the CBS Early Show that while it was legitimate to ask whether the concert should have been canceled , nothing else on the fairgrounds had been affected by the blast of wind that hit the stage.

Some of the injuries from the disaster were extremely serious, and more people could die, State Police Sergeant Dave Bursten had said at a news conference on Sunday.

State fire marshals and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the collapse.

Sugarland sent a Twitter message on Saturday night about the incident, saying: "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 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand at the state fairgrounds can seat more than 15,000 people.

(Additional reporting by Vicki Allen in Washington; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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Comments (1)
arunvinud wrote:
Great news looking forward for that.Keep updating.great work.

Aug 15, 2011 9:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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