First Investigation Into Indiana State Fair Tragedy Concludes

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• February 9, 2012

A six-month investigation into the Indiana State Fair tragedy has determined that the company which built the roof and rigging, the stagehands union, and fair officials share blame for the Aug. 13 stage collapse which killed seven people and injured 58 others. As a result of the findings, relatively minimal fines were issued to these three parties, the largest of which was $63,000 and went to the staging company, Mid-America Sound Corp.

The query was conducted by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is the first of three independent investigations.

According to the AP and other news outlets, fair officials were informed of the stage’s limitations, and should have evacuated the area. Mid-America maintains that fair representatives knew the temporary roof structure and rigging being used that night would not sustain winds of 25 mph or severe weather.

Newly released testimony also shows that Sugarland and their representatives refused offers to delay the start of the concert that night. Indiana State Fair Commission executive director Cindy Hoye testified as part of a lawsuit against Mid-America. According to the AP:

Hoye testified that a representative for a concert promotion company working with the fair twice approached Sugarland about the fair’s desire to delay the show. Hoye said, “They were trying to get to Iowa to play the Iowa State Fair, and so they said they did not want to delay.” She also said that the fair offered to pay for extra stagehands in Des Moines to reduce the time needed to set up the stage, but the band declined.

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Sarah Skates is Sr. News Editor of MusicRow Enterprises. Now in her ninth year with the company, she contributes to musicrow.com and the print magazine. She welcomes your inquiries to sskates@musicrow.com. Please send press releases, photos, and news items to news@musicrow.com.

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