Expert information continues to suggest that the Indiana State Fair stage collpase, and the injuries and deaths attributed to it, could have been prevented.
According to Jim Keller, Senior law partner at Keller & Keller, whose firm has served lawsuits against the State Fair on behalf of his clients in the past, "I'm absolutely convinced these people shouldnt have lost their lives, and my clients injuries should never have happened."
Today's weather forecasts have been reduced to an accurate science based on advances in modern technology. The fact that bad weather had been predicted as far back as August 11th, two entire days before the State Fair stage collpase, says that the opportunity was missed to provide meaningful countermeasures to ensure this tragedy was avoided.
Governor Mitch Daniels has said that the collapse was the result of a 'fluke.' However, based on the facts, many will respectfully disagree by pointing to the weather radars that predicted this event well in advance, as well as the weather patterns that detailed the direction and severity of this storm.
Records from the National Weather Service illustrate a chilling timeline:
- Approximately 4 hours before the stage collpase (4:45 p.m.), radar indicated a string of powerful thunderstorms occurring in Northern and central Illinois.
- The storm entered Indiana at 5:57 p.m. EST and a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for all of central Indiana (Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are defined as having the ability to produce large hail being at least 1 inch, high winds as being 58 mph or greater, producing tornadoes, or any combination of the three.) Forecasters stated that hail and wind gusts of up to 70 mph were indicated as likelihoods with this storm.
- At 8:39 p.m. EST the storm's front was nearing Indianapolis, prompting a severe thunderstorm warning for all of Marion County, including the Indianapolis metro area.
- Ten minutes later, and two days after the very first sign of potential trouble, at 8:49 p.m. EST, the State Fair stage collapses, killing 5 people and injuring several others.
"This was not a 'fluke.'"
Signs were present that should have led officials to keep a closer watch and certainly give the victims a longer lead time than the 20 seconds that was provided with an announcement over the State Fair sound system.
A Senior meteorologist was quoted as saying, "this wasn't an isolated pop-up thunderstorm that suddenly sprouted and produced a 'pulse' type of severe wind report. It was a long-lived line of thunderstorms which had produced many severe wind/hail reports a couple of counties upstream. As noted elsewhere, there had been a severe thunderstorm watch (in fact, it was in effect well out ahead of where radar showed the storms to be at the time it was issued) and a severe thunderstrom warning issued."
Keller & Keller presently represents some of the victims from the Indiana State Fair stage collpase and we continue to push forward with our investigation of liability regarding stage design and construction, as well as failure to properly notify fair-goers of inclement and dangerous weather.
If you have any questions for our attorneys who are working the State Fair lawsuit, please know that we are available at no cost to answer your questions.
Most importantly, we wish the victims and thier families well as they cope with their losses and injuries that have occurred as a result of the collapse.