Sugarland Continue to Grieve Following Deadly Stage Collapse
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush continue to mourn the tragic loss of life following the stage collapsethat occurred before their concert Saturday night at the Indiana State Fair. The death toll from the catastrophe has now risen to five. At least 40 people were taken to the hospital, with more than 150 treated at a makeshift infirmary on site.
"I am so moved," Jennifer says in a statement posted on Sugarland's website. "Moved by the grief of those families who lost loved ones. Moved by the pain of those who were injured and the fear of their families. Moved by the great heroism as I watched so many brave Indianapolis fans actually run toward the stage to try and help lift and rescue those injured. Moved by the quickness and organization of the emergency workers who set up the triage and tended to the injured."
Just after opening act Sara Bareilles performed, police and fair executives made the call to evacuate, due to strong storms headed their way. But just a minute later, a local radio executive took the stage to announce that the show would indeed go on, warning the 12,000 fans in attendance to be prepared to evacuate mid-concert if the weather should worsen. Just after he left the stage, huge gusts of wind knocked the rigging above the stage down, sending all of its massive lighting, sound equipment and one crew member plummeting down.
Emergency crews rushed in to rescue people trapped under the rigging, with several concertgoers helping them. Four people died on the scene, and one died later at a local hospital.
The duo and their band escaped unscathed but are in total devastation. "We are all right," Sugarland tweeted immediately following the stage collapse. "We are praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you'll join us. They need your strength."
As news of the fatalities spread, several country artists took to their Twitter pages to offer their condolences. "My prayers to the people at the Sugarland concert in Indianapolis ... Absolutely shocking and hard to comprehend... Beyond belief..." Blake Shelton (@Blake Shelton) tweeted.
"So sad to hear about the State Fair in Indianapolis. Our prayers are with Sugarland, their fans, and all the personnel working there," posted Martina McBride (@MartinaMcBride). "And most importantly, our prayers are with the families of the injured and the families of the four people who were killed."
Reba McEntire (@Reba) expressed her sympathy, as well. "What happened in Indianapolis tonight is what promoters, artists, crews and fans pray never happens. From my band, crew and the entire Starstruck organization, we send our thoughts and prayers to the 4 people who lost their lives tonight and to everyone who was at the concert . Jennifer and Kristian, I love you both."
Sugarland canceled their concert in Des Moines, Iowa, which was scheduled for Sunday night (August 14). Their next show is in Albuquerque, N.M. on Thursday, August 18. Keep track of their concert schedule here.