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Severe storm collapses stage at Ottawa Bluesfest

By Joie Maccarone     Jul 18, 2011 in Entertainment
Ottawa - Talk about Rock the House Down! No sooner did Cheap Trick start performing at Ottawa’s Bluesfest before an audience of 15 to 20 thousand strong, when a strange storm started brewing, and high winds caused the stage to collapse, severely injuring one man
Last night, while the band was playing, the clouds suddenly turned black and the wind began to howl. The wind was so severe that the entire stage collapsed. Reports from Canadian Press mentioned that Linda Laframboise who was at the concert and standing about 20 feet from the stage, “The front speakers suddenly went off and the band stopped playing. They pointed to the speakers and then left the stage.” The storm was so intense that Laframboise could hear the stage crack and groan as it collapsed.
Lafromboise mentions that the first part of the stage to fall apart was the top. “First it leaned back and then fell back,” she said. Fortunately the stage fell away from the direction of the audience. "I can’t imagine what would have happened if the stage swung the other way towards the crowd," Laframboise said, according to CP.
The severity of the storm caused the crowd to panic and some took shelter at the nearby Canada War Museum.
Another concert-goer Jude Murano, was standing on the side of the stage when the storm hit. She noticed the “crew hastily removing equipment off the stage,” as reported in the Toronto Star.
“Around the time the wind picked up speed and started blowing the tarp around, the crew yelled ‘Quick! Get off the stage',” Murano said.
She noticed everyone run off as the scaffolding started to fall.
According to CP, the scariest part for Murano "was how hard the storm hit." “When I was running, I couldn’t see," she said. "It was in my eyes too much. It was the scariest situation of my life."
Not everyone got away unscathed.
The Toronto Star reported a 45-year-old man was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. Two other fans who suffered minor injuries were also taken to the hospital.
And the end of the day, Cheap Trick posted a Facebook message, “Everyone is okay and we are so lucky to be alive and hope that all the fans are too.”
More about stage collapses, Thunderstorm, Concert, Injuries, Cheap Trick
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