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Meteorologist Told State Fair Officials To Delay Concert

A meteorologist hired to predict rain delays said he warned the fair officials 30 minutes before the stage collapsed.

stage collapse

Photo: Rich Evers (Flickr)

A stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair Saturday prior to a performance by the country music duo Sugarland.

A meteorologist hired by the Indiana State Fair to assess possible rain delays says he told fair officials to delay Saturday’s concert that ended in tragedy when the stage collapsed, killing five people.

Meteorologist Paul Poteet says fair officials approached him about 30 minutes before the stage collapse to ask him whether they should continue with the concert. He says he pointed to the radar that showed a line of storms.

“It didn’t seem to be losing any steam,” Poteet says. “And indeed it had already produced a couple of different severe thunderstorm warnings back out to the West and Northwest. There had even been a tornado warning up around northern Indiana.”

Poteet says he told officials they should delay the concert and that he expected the storm to pass in about an hour.

An announcement advising concertgoers to seek shelter was eventually given, but the stage collapsed before most of the audience had time to leave.

 

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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