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Experts Say Fair Stage Collapse Foreseen

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 17 (UPI) — The stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed five people was predictable, experts say.

The deadly Saturday night incident that fair spokesman Andy Klotz called “a freakish act of God” on Tuesday was caused by storm winds the National Weather Service and warned about, The Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday.

“This is in no way a fluke or freak or unforeseeable,” Mike Smith, senior vice president of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions in Wichita, Kan., told the newspaper.

Smith said his company, along with the National Weather Service, sent warnings of 60 mph winds to clients in the area.

“When you get a warning, you should act immediately,” said Smith, who is a board-certified consulting meteorologist. “You should not be second-guessing. … And in a case like that, it means take shelter.”

“It’s a ready, set, go type of concept,” said Daniel McCarthy, the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “When a warning is issued, it’s time to go. Go to safety.”

McCarthy added that he had alerted state fair officials at 1 p.m. of the likelihood of severe weather with high winds.

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