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Indiana State Fair stage collapse claims sixth victim

August 19, 2011 | 12:37 pm

Indiana_State_Fair_memorial
The death toll in the Indiana Stage Fair stage collapse rose again Friday, claiming a sixth victim.

Jennifer Haskell, a 22-year-old senior at Ball State University, died Friday morning from her injuries, according to the Indianapolis Star, which said it learned of the death from Haskell's uncle, who released the following statement:

"After a long courageous battle, Jenny Haskell died at 8:15 this morning from her injuries sustained from the tragedy at the State Fair. Jenny's family would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers during this difficult time. Continued support and prayers for the remaining victims would be greatly appreciated."

Haskell was in the audience of about 12,000 Saturday night, waiting for country group Sugarland to take the stage, when whipping winds that reached up to 70 mph swept over the stage rigging, sending it crashing down on fans. Dozens were sent to area hospitals, and an investigation into the cause of the collapse is underway.

Photos: Deadly stage collapse

She was attending the event with her best friend, Alina Bigjohny, 23, who was also killed in the stage collapse, the newspaper said.

Haskell was studying sports medicine at Ball State, with plans to become an athletic trainer. Bigjohny had recently been hired to teach English at a middle school in Muncie, Ind.

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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter.com/@renelynch

Photo: Flowers are placed at a memorial in front of the Grandstand at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis near the site where a stage collapsed Saturday killing six people. Credit: Associated Press

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