A 29-year-old Bronx native was among the five people killed on Saturday night at the Indiana State Fair as heavy winds from an approaching storm knocked over the overhead rigging to an outdoor stage. According to CBS, Christina Santiago, who hailed from the Bronx, was managing a health care center in Chicago. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels called the incident a "fluke," and told the Indianapolis Star, "It's not clear how anyone could have foreseen a sudden, highly localized blast of wind." But a similar outdoor event just 15 miles from the State Fairgrounds was cancelled due to concerns about the weather.
A performance of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra 15 miles away with 7,000 fans in attendance was cancelled 30 minutes before thunderstorm warnings were announced, because there are fewer places to seek shelter than on the fairgrounds. The National Weather Service meteorologist in charge of the Indianapolis office who issued the severe thunderstorm warning minutes before the rigging collapsed said the gusts of wind that precede a storm are "not unusual." Several weather service employees who were at the scene estimated the wind that knocked the stage over blew "in the range of 60 to 70 mph."
Currently the company who provided portions of the stage, Mid-America Sound Corp. of Greenfield, is investigating the collapse, as is the Indiana State Police. A spokesman told the Star that it could take "weeks or months" before any conclusions are drawn.