The crowd was poised in anticipation, including scores of people pressed up against the stage, just seconds before country music sensation Sugarland was to perform at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday night...
Backstage, Indiana State Police special operations commander Brad Weaver was watching an ugly storm moving in on radar via his smartphone. He and fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye decided it was time to evacuate the crowd.
But a minute later, when the crowd was addressed, the word was that the show would go on, and that the crowd should be prepared to find shelter if things changed. Some of the crowd sensed the danger and left without further word. But the majority remained.
Seconds later, a fierce wind blew in from the direction of the midway, kicking up what one witness described as "a canopy of dust."
In a moment that eyewitnesses described as both terrifying and in slow motion, the massive rigging above the stage bearing lights, sound equipment and at least one crew member swayed menacingly and then came crashing down on the crowd.
Four people were killed, a fifth died this morning in a hospital, and 40 others were injured severely enough that they needed to be taken to local hospitals. More than 150 were treated at a makeshift triage unit at the fairgrounds itself....
The grim nature of the tragedy stood in stark contrast to the music the concertgoers came to hear.
Sugarland, which mixes country and pop, serves up among the sunniest and most optimistic music on the airwaves.
Late Saturday, the band delivered a message about the disaster via Twitter: "We are all right. We are praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you'll join us. They need your strength."
Read the article in its entirety here. And please keep the victims and their families and friends in your prayers.