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Author: Subject: Music fest turns deadly

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 8/2/2009 at 10:41 AM
CAMROSE -- One person is dead and four critically injured after a massive storm collapsed a portion of the mainstage at the Big Valley Jamboree last night.

At least another 15 people have been transported to hospital, said Camrose police Chief Darrell Kambeitz.

The stage fell as concert-goers watched in shock and horror. Police believe the person killed was crushed to death.

"The concert had been postponed and we were in the process of clearing out the (concert) bowl when the weather front hit," Kambeitz said.

STARS air ambulance was on standby, a spokesman said.

Disaster struck immediately as a set by American country artist Billy Currington ended around 6 p.m.

Currington appeared to be hit by a falling pole and had a cut on his face.

Bassist Shaun Smith was pulled from the concert area by emergency responders, his stomach and arm covered in blood.

"Everyone started running like cows in a field towards the exit," said Brandon Lemieux, who watched the collapse from the beer gardens. "People were falling over. No one knew where to go."

The stage, which stood 20 metres off the ground, collapsed within 10 seconds, falling toward the backstage area.

Paramedics were on scene immediately, with injuries obvious, though the exact number of injuries was unknown.

"People were hiding under semi trucks. People were just running," said camper Matt Lever, describing the immediate aftermath.

Ernie Gratton was watching the show when he was blinded by a massive wall of sand.

"The wind was unbelievably intense," he said. "We just followed the crowd out. My eyes were full of sand. There were tents flying all over the place."

Paramedic and emergency vehicles continued to stream in as the backstage area was cleared by Camrose city police.

Most concertgoers went back to the campground, which was also demolished by high winds, witnesses said.

Many packed up what was left of their campsite for the drive home while others packed into campers and vehicles to sleep.

"The worst is over," said Insp. Lee Foreman of Camrose City Police. "Stay in your trailer to reevaluate in the morning."

The Edmonton fire department's heavy rescue team was on site hours later to lift the stage. No one other than the deceased was believed to be trapped.

Meanwhile, a caller to a local country music radio station said two of Kevin Costner's bandmates -- who were set to take the stage after Currington's band when it collapsed -- were taken to a Camrose hospital. Costner went as well, the caller said.

Police have not yet identified the person who was killed.



Very sad , this is a very popular festival here in Alberta just shows how nasty Mother Nature can be .

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 8/2/2009 at 10:44 AM
Very sad, indeed....

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 8/2/2009 at 11:38 AM
Thoughts and prayers go out to all those effected by what happen at this show.
 
 


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