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Indiana Officials Issue Safety Violations For State Fair Stage Collapse

By PSW Staff February 8, 2012

The Indiana Department of Labor today cited concert and event production company Mid-America Sound Corp. of Greenfield, IN with three safety violations in the collapse of an outdoor stage at the Indiana State Fair last August just prior to a show by the country band Sugarland. Seven people died and 58 were injured after the stage collapsed when a gust of wind toppled equipment that hung over the stage.

CBS News also reports that Mid-America Sound Corp. has been issued a $63,000 fine, being the company that provided the stage rigging and chose the workers to erect it.

“The evidence demonstrated that the Mid-America Sound Corporation was aware of the appropriate requirements and demonstrated a plain indifference to complying with those requirements,” Commissioner Lori Torres stated in the report.

The department also issued a small fine against the Indiana State Fair Commission for “failing to conduct proper safety evaluations of its concert venues,” and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 30 also came under fire, accused of five workplace violations.

Sugarland was not penalized, with the agency noting that the band didn’t employ the workers and wasn’t responsible for building the stage.

One stagehand, Nathan Byrd, was among those killed in the collapse. At least nine other union members were injured.

Further investigations are ongoing. The State Fair Commission has also hired Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering firm based in New York City, to investigate the rigging collapse, while Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has hired Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm, to conduct a “comprehensive, independent analysis.”

The CBS News report is here.

One of many videos of the stage collapse is here.

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