Stage Collapses During Country Festival In Canada; Kills One
August 4, 2009 at 6:22 AM (PT)
MERCURY/NASHVILLE artist BILLY CURRINGTON was on stage at the BIG VALLEY JAMBOREE in CAMROSE, ALBERTA, CA on SATURDAY (8/1) night when things took a tragic turn. A devestating storm hit the festival area causing the stage to collapse, killing one person and injuring 40 others, including CURRINGTON and a member of his band.
Some of the concertgoers are blaming local police for not giving people enough warning so that they could make it to safety. CAMROSE Police Chief DARRELL KAMBEITZ said, "RCMP (ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE) informed us at 5:55p about unconfirmed reports that a possible tornado had touched down in the NISKU area (just south of EDMONTON). We had people on the stage at 5:57p and the storm struck between 5:57p and 6p."
Tweny-one of the injured people had to be taken to the hospital for treatment; two remain in critical condition. SUNDAY's portion of the festival was canceled, including headliners TRACY LAWRENCE and TIM McGRAW.
CURRINGTON was sent to the hospital with a minor concussion and has been treated and released. Bass player ALEX STEVENS was pinned under the wreckage for half an hour, sustaining damage to his left arm. He had surgery to repair a severed artery and damaged nerves and is back in NASHVILLE recuperating.
LAWRENCE said: "This was such an unexpected tragedy and I know that it is difficult to understand the reasons why. On behalf of the entire TRACY LAWRENCE organization, I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost a loved one or are suffering with injuries and grief. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of our friends in CAMROSE, ALBERTA.”
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