Indiana State Fair Not Tweaking Severe Weather Plan
Officials Say Policy Sound
Last Updated: 641 days ago
The Indiana State Fair is not altering its severe weather protocol in the wake of the stage collapse on Saturday that killed five people and injured dozens more.Spokesman Andy Klotz said Tuesday that the policy is sound and that there were three similar thunderstorms last week in which the same protocol was followed, without bad outcomes until the weekend storm, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported. Special Section: Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse An announcement made from the stage three minutes before the collapse gave attendees the option of seeking shelter. The announcer didn't know that fair officials had made the decision to evacuate."That decision, nobody's thinking about dollars. We are there to protect the public," Klotz said.Straight-line winds that caused the stage to come crashing down were undetectable, Klotz said, adding that the fact there was no damage elsewhere on the fairgrounds made the occurrence "a freakish act of God.""You will see how isolated the damage was. That was the only thing that was affected was the roof over the main stage," Klotz said. "The very large tent which was used for catering right next to the grandstand didn't have a flap out of place."Many fairgoers said they believe safety goes both ways -- that the fair should be more vigilant and that people have to be responsible for their own safety."Maybe what we have in place needs to be reevaluated to see if there is a better way of letting people know when to seek safe haven," said Geri Sherrell, who was at the fair on Tuesday."We'd be gone (if severe weather approached). It's just common sense, but also based on what happened this weekend," said fair visitor Jeff Ferrer."I'd probably get in my truck and go home," said fair customer Matt Bennington. "Something could randomly fall if you get a big gust of wind like that."Fair Chairman Andre Lacy said there are many more questions than answers as the investigation gets started and that the board won't rest until those questions are answered. A fund to help the victims and their families has been established by the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Donations can be made online or checks with Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund in the memo line can be sent to CICF, Attn: Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund at 615 N. Alabama St. Indianapolis, IN 46204.