Country music stars used Twitter to ask fans to pray for dozens injured Saturday night when the band Sugarland’s stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Sugarland tweeted to fans late Saturday night: “We are all right. We are praying for our fans and the people of Indianapolis. We hope you’ll join us. They need your strength.”
Country star Blake Shelton responded, “My prayers to the people at the Sugarland concert in Indianapolis…. Absolutely shocking and hard to comprehend… Beyond belief…”
What followed were scores of tweets from all over the world, including from Martina McBride: “So sad to hear about the State Fair in Indianapolis. Our prayers are with Sugarland, their fans, and all the personnel working there.”
Kelly Clarkson tweeted: “Just saw video footage of the stage collapsing at Sugarland’s show in Indiana. Oh my gosh that is maybe one of scariest things I’ve ever seen. I pray everybody on their crew and the band is okay.”
Marie Osmond sent: “Prayers for Sugarland, the fans, the 4 who lost their lives and those injured at the Indiana State fair. Love to you all. Sad times.”
Michelle Branch: “Just heard about sugarland and the stage collapse in Indy. Sending prayers!!!
And from Ryan Seacrest: “Just saw the vid of the stage collapse in indiana, unbelievable. Sending prayers to injured fans and @sugarlandmusic & crew. So sad…scary.”
Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles had just finished her set, commenting what a beautiful night it was, according to Indianapolis Star music writer David Lindquist. Less than 30 minutes later, a freak gust of wind estimated at 60 miles per hour toppled the stage.
“The gust of wind came, there was no rain yet and the production fell from left to right,” reported Lindquist at the scene. “And you could see, you could clearly see people were under the footprint of the rigging.”
Fans and workers swarmed over the debris and worked to free the dozens trapped. Marion County Coroner Frank Lloyd said four victims died at the fairgrounds and a fifth died at the hospital.