The Indiana State Fair disaster that left seven people dead and 58 seriously injured drew national headlines. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited three groups in connection with the fatal accident. The Mid-America Sound Corp. of Greenfield, Indiana, the Indiana State Fair Commission and the International Alliance of Theatrical and State Employees Local 30 all received hefty fines for actions related to the stage collapse. The findings point to violations of workplace safety. It is not clear what impact the findings will have on the individuals who were harmed and the loved ones of those who lost their lives in the disaster.
On August 16, 2011, two days after the tragic Indiana State Fair stage collapse, we called on the Indiana State Government to accept its share of responsibility for this tragedy, immediately set up a $5,000,000 damages fund for the victims, and introduce legislation repealing the unfair $5 million damages cap that applies under Indiana law. We are happy to note that the Indiana State Government is showing signs that it will step up and do the right thing.
Many questions arising from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair earlier this month will likely remain unanswered in the weeks and months to come.
Two more individuals who were seriously injured when a temporary stage collapsed at the Indiana fairgrounds last week have died from their injuries, bringing the number of total fatalities to seven. In the wake of these two tragic deaths comes an article in this morning's Indianapolis Star that raises an interesting question, "Should the Indiana State Fair build a permanent stage?"
Sunday August 14 at approximately 8:49 p.m. EDT, a wind gust estimated at 60 to 70 mph caused the Main Grandstand Stage at the Indiana State Fair to collapse, killing five people and injuring another 45. Since the accident, the Indiana Government has steadfastly denied it has any responsibility for what happened. Governor Mitch Daniels has said it was a "freak" accident, a "fluke" that could not have been prevented. Brad Weaver, commander of special operations for the Indiana State Police, when asked whether it was possible to foresee the wind gusts and evacuate people earlier, said "absolutely not".