Indiana State Fair Reopens After Stage Collapse

INDIANAPOLIS (WJZ) — The Indiana State Fair reopened Monday with a memorial service after five people died and about four dozen were injured when a stage collapsed over the weekend.

Vic Carter reports 12,000 people were waiting for a Sugarland concert to begin when tragedy hit.

A state trooper sang “Amazing Grace” as hundreds gathered at the Indiana State Fair to remember the five people killed on Saturday.  The memorial service was held prior to the fair’s reopening Monday morning.

The stage collapsed Saturday night when wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour moved in ahead of a storm.  Heavy steel scaffolding landed on fans, including Laura Magdziarz and her three daughters.

“I kinda just looked over my shoulder and you saw the stage swaying so I grabbed Maggie and I said, `Run.’  That’s all I really remember until I woke up and it was pitch black.  You would have thought it was midnight,” she said.

Her two oldest daughters are OK, but her 3-year-old daughter Maggie was seriously injured.  Magdziarz and state officials say bystanders probably saved her daughter’s life.

“There was a hero every 10 feet,” said Governor Mitch Daniels.  “I cannot tell you how proud I am to be an employee of six and a half million people like that.”

Several minutes before the collapse, concert organizers warned that a powerful storm was approaching but they did not order an evacuation. 

Sugarland’s tour manager decided to hold the band back just one minute before they were set to play, saving their lives.

Fair officials say the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration and state fire marshal’s office are investigating the accident.  The investigation could take months.

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