A New Hampshire tent collapse happened at a circus taking place in Lancaster Monday night. Officials confirm that a father and daughter were killed in the tragedy, while almost 40 others were injured. CNN reports that the Walker International Events circus had just begun when a storm came through. Performers stopped the show, yelling at the crowd to “run.”
According to the report, the open flaps on the side of the circus tent weren’t tied down and “started going crazy,” spectator Brandon Isham said.
“Next thing you know, the wind picked up… and took the tent with it,” Isham said.
Victims in the New Hampshire tent collapse are identified as Robert Young, 41, from Concord, Vermont, and his 8-year-old daughter, Annabelle. The autopsy revealed that they died from blunt force trauma.
State Fire Marshal William Degnan says that about 100 people were inside the circus tent when it came crashing down around 5:45 p.m.
Degnan explains that the circus didn’t have the required “place of assembly permit” from local fire officials. He adds that there weren’t any local or state officials involved in putting the tent up.
“That is something that we’re looking into. They just went and set up and did it,” Degnan reveals.
Up to 39 people were hospitalized after the New Hampshire circus tent collapsed; 34 are known to have been discharged. News is still coming in on how many were actually injured and how severely, Degnan says.
WCAX 3 reports that the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the region about 25 minutes before circus tent collapse.
Degnan has told the station that the circus is cooperating in the investigation.
“They are providing all of their employees to us to give us details. Everything that went on here during the setup process and the actions up to and including the event with the wind.”
Lancaster resident, Tim Brunelle, was at home night when the storm swiftly came in. He likens the weather conditions to hurricane conditions.
“Dark, cloudy, at one point it kind of looked like a hurricane, but it was just really heavy clouds and out of nowhere it just dropped.”
Some of those injured were taken by ambulance or had their own means of transportation. WCAX 3 interviewed a few people who had a lot of stitches put in after suffering significant wounds.
Tricia Coxarakis, who attended the circus, said that she has one friend who got 240 stitches in his head from a pole that fell during the New Hampshire tent collapse.
The investigation is ongoing in this tragic event.
[Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons]