After a structure collapsed at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma, injuring fans, the Backstreet Boys canceled their concert.
According to an Entertainment Tonight report, a strong storm blew through the area, and the winds caused damage to the group’s stage and equipment. Plus, at least 14 waiting fans were injured when another temporary structure collapsed.
Initially, the casino said that the show would move forward no matter what. However, the damage from the storm’s 70 to 80 mile per hour winds along with the driving rain proved to be too extensive.
Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys announced the cancelation via Twitter with a bit of a play on words from one of the group’s hit songs.
“Update… unfortunately, due to damage sustained in the storm earlier this evening, we are unable to perform the show tonight. Safety is always #1. Keep your tickets because, Backstreet WILL BE BACK!”
Officials began to evacuate the outdoor concert ahead of the storm, and they asked concertgoers to seek shelter, but at least 150 people did not comply. Unfortunately, a temporary structure blew over during the thunderstorm, and at least 14 patrons who were waiting for the concert were injured. Emergency responders showed up to help treat those who sustained injury.
In a statement, resort spokesperson Kym Koch Thompson said the following.
“At approximately 5:30 p.m., the storm hit and knocked over the concert entrance trusses with 70-80 mile an hour winds and heavy rain. 14 people were treated at the scene and then transported to local hospitals. Two have already been released. Love County emergency responders, Lighthorse Police and Oklahoma Highway Patrol are on scene. We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favorite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm.”
— Nikole Berry (@NikoleJagow) August 19, 2018
Oklahoma is in the midst of an unusually wet August. The region suffered several damaging storms, complete with intense flooding over the past several days. According to a KFOR News Channel Four report, Oklahoma City received record rainfall this past Tuesday, and it led to flight delays at Will Rogers World Airport, along with severe flooding and damage to homes and roads in the area.
On August 14, Oklahoma City received 5.3 inches of rain, which broke the old record by well over half an inch. Forecasters predict that the state will receive even more rain overnight and into tomorrow.
Thackerville, where the Backstreet Boys concert was scheduled, is about two hours south of Oklahoma City, near the Oklahoma/Texas border. So far there’s no news on when the group might return to Oklahoma.