Sara Bareilles Performs Prior to Indiana State Fair Stage Collapsing
'Love Song' and 'Uncharted' hitmaker Sara Bareilles performed right before the mobile stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, Aug. 13, only narrowly averting what turned out to be a major tragedy. Five people were killed and another 40 were injured out of a crowd of roughly 12,000 fans who were waiting to see country duo Sugarland perform.
Multiple sources report that the sky blackened and storm quickly roared through, causing the entire stage to buckle and tumble onto the people below just before 9:00 PM, which was immediately after Bareilles had performed. When the weather became ominous, many fans sought shelter away from the open area near the stage to be safe.
The National Weather Service suggested that wind gusts were blowing between 60 and 70mph, which was too much for the structure to handle. Authorities were reportedly in the process of issuing an evacuation order, but the volatile weather struck before those orders could be carried out.
"A big gust of wind came through,” witness Aaron Richman told CNN. “You could see a lot of people panicking. All the scaffolding and speakers — all that came crashing down — and the whole stand just collapsed."
Another eyewitness, Allison Hoehn, said that "the storm came on so fast, and the stage just snapped like a toothpick. Everyone rushed to help, and we saw people searching and pulling people out. [I] saw five people go away on stretchers. It was amazing how many people ran in to try to lift the scaffolding.”
Sugarland, who were set to headline but never took the stage, issued a statement about the horrific incident, saying, "We are stunned and heartbroken for the fans and their families in Indiana. We hold those injured in our prayers at this very sad time. There are no words. It is tragic."
Naturally, Bareilles echoed their sentiments. She tweeted Saturday night, "I'm speechless and feel so helpless. Please send love and prayers to Indianapolis tonight. My heart aches for the lives lost. #indyiloveu"
Watch Footage of the Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse