Monday, August 15, 2011

Indiana State Fair reopens today, remembering those that were lost.

Contrary to my last blog, there has been 5 confirmed deaths in the tragic collapse of the stage at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday.

The morning after the collapse...
The names of the deceased have been released:
The victims were identified as Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah; Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis; Alina Bigjohny, 23, of Fort Wayne; Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; and Nathan Byrd, 51, of Indianapolis, who died early Sunday at Methodist Hospital, as reported by The Huffington Post. Not pictured, is Tammy Vandam.


Nathan Byrd

Glenn Goodrich

Christina Santiago
When the fair reopens today, a Remembrance Ceremony will be held to "help the grieving process for all of us," explains Andy Klotz, spokesperson for the Indiana State Fair. He also reassures people that, "We have a great state fair, and we have a lot of people that want to have a fair for another week." In essence, even though the tragedy was horrific, they must move on.

When Klotz spoke to CBS this morning, he explained that organizers for the Indiana State Fair thought that they had more time to consider evacuating a grandstand before wind gusts between 60 and 70 mph toppled the stage.

Klotz continued to say, "The information we had, with our meteorologist on site with constant contact with the National Weather Service, was that we had about 30 more minutes before any kind of rain or storm blew in."

This was simply a tragedy. An unexpected and fatal learning experience.

However, was it THAT unexpected? Some meteorologists believe otherwise:

"It was very predictable," AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Smith told CBS News. "We put out a warning for 60 mile-an-hour winds a full half-hour before the stage collapse occurred."

Even though the isolated gust was unexpected, why was the audience given the "option" to evacuate?

A groundskeeper, Roger Smith, is just one of the people that believes proper precautions were NOT taken. "It's pathetic. It makes me mad. Those lives could have been saved yesterday."