Stage Collapse Investigators Testify Before Study Committee

Stage collapse examiners say Indiana has made significant progress in preventing future accidents -- but also say the state still has work to do.

The stage regulations study committee listened to testimony Wednesday from the stage collapse investigation firms.

Photo: Brandon Smith/Indiana Public Broadcasting

The stage regulations study committee listened to testimony Wednesday from the stage collapse investigation firms.

Representatives from Thornton Tomasetti and Witt and Associates – the two independent firms that conducted stage collapse investigations – reviewed their findings Wednesday before a legislative study committee.

They also gave brief evaluations of the temporary regulations the state has adopted since the stage collapse.  Witt and Associates building code expert Anne VonWaller says the state’s safety measures are much better than they were a year ago.

“It is requiring engineered plans,” she says. “It’s identifying the owner to have a lot of responsibility for what’s going on here.”

VonWeller says she’d like to see safety regulations with fewer exemptions and exceptions. State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson, who helped develop the state’s temporary regulations, says VonWeller’s recommendations are reasonable and that the state doesn’t have far to go to comply.

“The rule itself has done a great deal to cover, obviously a large majority, the vast majority of what was intended by the legislature and the commission when the rule, the emergency rule was written,” he says.

Witt and Associates also recommended the state ensure enforcement of its regulation is supported with adequate financial resources.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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