On August 13, 2011 at approximately 8:45 pm EDT, Indiana State Police said that a warning was issued to the crowd in the grandstand suggesting that they may have to take cover due to the incoming severe weather. However, witnesses reported that those in the direct path of the collapsing fly system did not evacuate per the announcement.
Approximately 10 minutes later, strong winds caused the stage to collapse, killing 5 people and injuring 45 others.
According to Fox News, the existing emergency plan for the Indiana State Fair and event staff was just one page long. This is purely gross negligence on their part. Any knowledgeable Emergency Manager knows the capability of severe weather on temporary structures.
A statistic comes to mind, “For every $1 spent on emergency planning, $4 is saved in recovery” – U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Indiana’s event staff had no excuse to avoid the expense of a comprehensive Event Emergency and Evacuation Plan. Any reasonable planning expense is worth saving the lives of those killed in this tragic event.