State Fair to reopen Monday after tragic accident that left 5 dead

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Officials at the State Fairgrounds held a news conference Sunday at 10 a.m., updating the media on the stage collapse at the Sugarland concert Saturday night.

Governor Mitch Daniels addressed the media saying, “There was no way we could have foreseen how a gust of wind could have harmed structures there.”

Five people died and more than 40 were injured when the lighting grid collapsed at the concert. Dozens of people immediately rushed to help those injured or trapped.

The people who died in the accident are:

Tammy Vandam, 42, Wanatah, IN

Glenn Goodrich, 49, Indianapolis, IN

Alina Bigjohny, 23, Ft. Wayne, IN

Christina Santiago, 29, Chicago, IL

Nathan Byrd, 51, Indianapolis, IN

“Individual Hoosiers ran to the trouble not from the trouble,” said Governor Daniels.  “People rushing up, saying, ‘I’m a trained doctor, or EMS worker,’ and also peple who simply pitched in.  It’s the character associated with our state.  I want to say thank you to them.”

State Police Sergeant Dave Bursten said weather reports were updated but the weather changes quickly in Indiana.

“There are procedures for weather emergencies.  Those peronnel were going through the process.   The weather can change from one report to another and that was the case here.  There was no damage to the  midway or other parts of the fairgrounds.  We believe this was an isolated wind gust that occurred,” said Bursten.

The State Fair is closed Sunday.  Cindy Hoye of the State Fair Commission says the Fair will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday.  A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m. to pray for the people who died and for the injured.  That will be held at the Free Energy Stage at the northwest corner of the Fairgrounds, near gate 16.

“The majority of State Fair events will occur,” said Hoye.

Specific details on concerts and other events in the grandstand are not finalized.

“I just want to say that I saw those Hoosiers last night.  They were extraordinary.  A woman grabbed my hand and said, ‘Let’s pray together,'” Hoye recalled.

State Police say anyone who had to leave their car at the Fairgrounds last night can get it today.  They just need to report to gate three off 38th Street or gate 16 at the northwest corner.  Security personel will help them retrieve their property.

“The company responsible for the stage is Midamerica out of Tennessee,” said Hoye. “Our investigation is just beginning.”