Rock band who nearly died in Ottawa wait to speak out as survivors recount Indiana horror where five were killed
Cheap Trick, who narrowly escaped death in a stage collapse last month, have expressed their sympathy for those who were killed in a similar event over the weekend.
Five died and 45 were injured when a freak gust of wind blew down the main stage at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday.
It’s the third large-scale incident of the North American festival season, following the Flaming Lips’ video wall collapse in Tulsa and Cheap Trick’s near-death drama in Ottawa.
The pop-rockers escaped with their lives when their gear truck broke the scaffolding’s fall just above them, leaving them room to get out. They’ve since demanded event organisers do more to ensure the safety of bands, crews and crowds at open-air events – but are keeping silent for now.
They say: “We express our sympathies to the victims in Indiana and to all who grieve. There will be a time to address the issue of concert safety – but not today.”
Meanwhile a survivor of the disaster has told how he crawled back into the rubble to help others, after he was sure his wife was unhurt.
David Wood tells ABC News: “It was chaos. I’d just done running and pushing her out of the way. There was this kind of instinct to go back and help the ones who were screaming.
“After I climbed back in there it was amazing how many people were hollering ‘I’m a doctor’ or ‘I’m a nurse’.”
Country duo Sugarland were meant to be on stage at the moment it collapsed, and believe they were saved by their tour manager’s decision to delay the performance.
The band’s manager Gail Gellman praise road boss Hellen Rollens, telling Yahoo: “The band and crew were getting ready to go on, and as Hellen walked down the ramp the stage fell. So her decision to hold them for literally a minute saved every band member and crew’s life.
“As a tour manager it’s super-important to understand what the weather conditions are when you play outside. We’ve always talked about not putting the band on during wind, lightning or heavy rain.”