One dead, dozens hurt as storm hits St. Louis bar tent

St. Louis Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:57am EDT

Rescue workers surround the site of a beer tent blown down by high winds in St. Louis, Missouri April 28, 2012 in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/KSDK/Handout.

Rescue workers surround the site of a beer tent blown down by high winds in St. Louis, Missouri April 28, 2012 in this still image taken from video.

Credit: Reuters/KSDK/Handout.

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St. Louis (Reuters) - One person was killed and dozens injured on Saturday when a thunderstorm packing high winds blew down a beer tent on to baseball fans celebrating after a St. Louis Cardinals' game, police said.

Several of those hurt were listed in critical condition at area hospitals, officer Sherri Bruns of the St. Louis Police Department told Reuters.

The person killed was identified only as a male and the exact cause of his death was not immediately clear.

A spokesman for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Jamie Gagliarducci, said that 20 people were treated in the facility's emergency room, where three were listed in serious condition. Two of them were being kept overnight, he said.

The remaining 17 were considered to be in fair or good condition, said Gagliarducci, who added that most of the victims had been taken to St. Louis University Hospital because it was the nearest trauma center to the scene.

A spokeswoman for University Hospital could not be immediately reached for comment.

The tent was set up as a beer garden at Kilroy's Sports Bar about a block from Busch Stadium, home to the Cardinals, and was blown off its moorings by strong wind gusts as the storm moved through the city.

"I thought a train fell off the track," the bar's owner, Art Randall, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. "We all ducked for cover. Everything was going sideways. I had metal chairs ripping across the beer garden."

The newspaper said the tent had been permitted by the city but that inspectors were there trying to determine its make and installation date.

The National Weather Service's website said a severe thunderstorm warning remained in effect for the St. Louis area, with a risk of golf ball-sized hail, and heavy rain fell across the area.

Bruns said the storm, which brought wind, heavy rain and some hail, moved quickly through the St. Louis area. It struck about an hour after the end of the Cardinal's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Following the incident, Cardinals fans quickly took to social media to commiserate.

"Kilroy's was where I was during Game 7 of the World Series. Man, that is just horrible. Thoughts to those people and their families," Renee Bryan tweeted.

The Cardinals, last year's National League champions, won the 2011 World Series in seven games over the American League's Texas Rangers. On Saturday, the Cardinals beat the Brewers 7-3.

(Writing and additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Dan Burns, Todd Eastham and Paul Simao)

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