Storm Damage Kills Five at Sugarland Show

At least 40 injured when winds topple stage, equipment in Indy.

At least four people died last night in Indianapolis when a storm hit a Sugarland crowd just before the duo was set to hit the stage, the Associated Press reports.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush tweeted an hour afterward that they were uninjured.

“We are praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you’ll join us. They need your strength,” the band said.

A strong gust of wind collapsed the stage at the Indiana State Fair, and steel scaffolding and equipment toppled into the crowd, sending most running and screaming, officials said. Four people were killed and at least another 40 injured, according to Indiana state police. The injuries included head and neck injuries and broken bones. Many of the most serious injuries were to fans in the VIP section known as the Sugar Pit.

"It was horrible, people were running and going crazy," Sugarland fan Emily Davis told reporters.

Dozens of country stars have weighed in via Twitter with sympathy for the fans killed and injured.

“So sad to hear about the State Fair in Indianapolis,” Martina McBride wrote. “Our prayers are with Sugarland, their fans, and all the personnel working there.”

Reba McEntire also offered her prayers. "What happened in Indianapolis tonight is what promoters, artists, crews and fans pray never happens. From my band, crew and the entire Starstruck organization, we send our thoughts and prayers to the 4 people who lost their lives tonight and to everyone who was at the concert. Jennifer and Kristen, I love you both"

UPDATE 2011-08-14 11:00 AM: A fifth Sugarland fan is confirmed dead after storm winds blew the stage over at a show scheduled Saturday night for the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, authorities say.

Lead singer Jennifer Nettles said in a statement that the duo is “stunned and heartbroken for the fans and their families in Indiana. We hold those injured in our prayers at this very sad time. There are no words. It is tragic.”

Sugarland has canceled its appearance today (Aug. 14) at the Iowa State Fair.


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