Friday, April 13, 2012

Violated Safety Standards Caused Fatal Indiana Stage Collapse

Wind gusts of 59 mph blew down stage rigging which should have been able to withstand gusts of up to 68 mph, killing seven and injuring scores of others last summer at a state fair concert, according to reports delivered April 12 to a 90 minute meeting of the Indiana State Fair Commission. According to the report from engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, which investigated the calamity for the Commission, the stage rigging’s support system began to collapse at gusts of 33 mph, and by the time wind speeds reached 43 mph the structure could no longer stand.

Thornton Tomasetti Vice President Scott Nacheman said testing showed gusts of only 25 mph could have collapsed the structure as built. The engineering report described the stage support system as “grossly inadequate.”

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