INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) - Five people are dead and at least 40-others hurt after a strong wind gust toppled the rigging on a concert stage, according to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.
The metal scaffolding fell onto fans waiting for the band Sugarland to perform.
A WANE employee, Kirby Ehler was there with the person who shot cell phone video of the collapse and spoke with us soon after.
"People in the audience were running and it just fell straight down on them and on the stage and people were trapped underneath. People were running to try and lift the stage off of them. People were crawling all over that roof and they were cutting the tarp apart to get a hole were I'm assuming someone probably was. It was like something out of a movie, something you see in a disaster movie. People were saying is anyone a nurse or medic if not you need to leave. It was scary, everybody knows that we probably saw people get hurt really badly," said Ehler.
Click on the videos in this story to see the actual stage collapse footage, a weather explainer from Lee Ann about what the conditions were like at the time and an interview with an Indianapolis reporter the day after. Also, hear from Kirby Ehler who came on 1st News Sunday to talk about what she saw and was thinking during the collapse.
People leaving the fair shortly after the stage collapsed - also in total disbelief.
"Scariest thing I've ever seen, I've never seen anything like that in my life before. I don't ever wanna see it. The winds came, duct, dust flew up high everywhere. We didn't even have a warning, nobody down there had a warning. People were like yelling and all of a sudden it just collapsed, like right where we were sitting, like about two minutes ago," said other witnesses.
Around midnight, this was posted on Sugarland's website:
"We are all right after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you."
Winds were estimated around 50 to 60 miles per hour at the time of the stage collapse.
Officials said first responders acted quickly to ensure the safety of the people who were still there and to also take away those injured.
Crews from the fire department, EMT and Indiana State Police were already in the area at an operations center which allowed them to get to the scene quickly.
"For the first time this year we had a joint operations center at the State Fair, and that means that all agencies had someone sitting in that operations center at all times. So if something like this were to happen, that we can respond quickly and efficiently. And that's exactly what occurred,"said an official from the Indiana State Fair.
A total of 12 ambulances and 13 fire engines were on the scene within 50 minutes of the collapse.
The Indiana State Police said the fair has canceled all of its Sunday activities.
Only fair workers and those needed to care for animals will be allowed on site.
Officers said the fair expects to reopen Monday with a memorial service for the victims.
Families can check on loved ones on the Red Cross' website .
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