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State Drafting New Stage Inspection Rules

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

Indiana State Fair Commission chairman Andre Lacy says the organization is eager to work with the state as it prepares new outdoor stage inspection rules in response to last year’s State Fair stage collapse.

Legislation passed this last session directs the state Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to develop temporary rules for regulation and inspection of outdoor stage equipment. It also establishes a legislative study committee that will suggest permanent regulations to be passed next session.  Lacy says his organization is ready to work with the new rules.

“We’re actually proactively going way beyond that, so that’s not a problem with us,” Lacy says.

The Fair’s major concerts this year will be held at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis, and in the future, at the Fairgrounds’ Pepsi Coliseum.

Indianapolis Republican Senator Jim Merritt – both a co-sponsor of the bill and a member of the Fair Commission – says the temporary regulations won’t have much impact on this year’s Fair. He says the focus should be on the reports from two independent investigations into the collapse.

“The legislature did make a statement that they’re concerned about outdoor equipment, outdoor structures but I think the real work is still in front of us,” Merritt says.

Merritt says the reports will play a significant role in the summer study committee’s actions.

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