Five People Killed in Stage Collapse at State Fair
INSIDE EDITION talks to the young woman who videotaped the horrific stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair as a severe storm ripped through the fairgrounds.
We're learning more about the terrifying moment when a killer storm collapsed the stage at the Indiana State Fair.
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent spoke to 23-year-old Jessica Silas, who shot incredible video that's now been seen around the world.
"What goes through your head?" asked Trent.
"I think I was in shock. I didn't really realize what was happening. I didn't think that that could happen, so when I was watching it through my camera lens, I didn't really believe it. It was more like watching a video or watching a movie," said Silas.
Silas says she began videotaping the stage as she saw an ominous black cloud approaching with winds up to 70 miles per hour.
"It just kept getting darker and darker and darker. Finally, the sky was the darkest I've ever seen it. It was pitch black," said Silas.
She said there was an announcement that a severe storm was approaching five minutes before it hit. But no one ordered an evacuation.
"It was a freak accident. You would never expect that a gust of wind that strong would be able to push down a stage," said Silas.
Concertgoer Kirby Eihler also shot the moment the massive stage fell on the helpless crowd waiting for a concert to begin by the country band Sugarland.
Eihler said, "There were people screaming. The wind was just howling, pelting us with dust. I even looked at my boyfriend and I said, 'We just saw a lot of people get hurt very badly, if not killed.' I had no idea the wind was going to be strong enough in order to make all of this happen."
David Wood didn't realize he was recording video on his cell phone of the terror in front of the stage. Wood said on Good Morning America, "It was chaos. I just got done running and pushing my wife out of the way of the stage that was coming down behind us."
Hundreds of heroes ran to help the victims trapped in the rubble, and even tried to lift the heavy steel scaffolding off of them.
Five people died, including 23-year-old Alina Bigjohny, who was about to start a teaching job. And 29-year-old Christina Santiago of Chicago, who'd been named one of the city's most promising young leaders.
The five victims were remembered at an emotional memorial service as the Indiana State Fair re-opened Monday.
Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles posted this comment on their on website:
"There are no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity. A piece of our heart is left in that grandstand."
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