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Stage collapse eyewitness: 'Then we heard screams'

August 13, 2011 |  8:53 pm

Associated Press photographer Darron Cummings was in the audience at the Indiana State Fair, attending the Sugarland concert as a fan, when the stage collapsed, apparently because of strong winds. Initial reports said four people died, but that number remains fluid as authorities try to sort out the chaos. More recent reports say at least three were killed and several more injured.

In one of the first reports from the scene, Cummings said an announcer gave the crowd instructions on how to evacuate if the weather worsened but said they hoped to get Sugarland on stage soon.

Photos: The scene moments after the stage collapsed

Cummings said he and his friends became concerned about their safety and sought shelter in a nearby barn after seeing the weather radar. “Then we heard screams. We heard people just come running,” Cummings told the AP.

In one of the first YouTube videos posted to document the scene, one person can be heard saying, "I don't wanna die" in what seems to be a response to the worsening weather, only to be followed by the shrieks and screams of people watching in horror as the stage tumbled forward onto fans.


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--Stephanie Chavez

Photo: The scene at the Indiana State Fair, where the stage collapsed in the face of stormy weather, killing at least three and injuring others. Photo credit: Steve C. Mitchell / EPA