14 hospitalised as storm hits Backstreet Boys concert
At least 14 people were injured at a sold-out Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees concert over the weekend after a storm battered the WinStar World Casino and Resort venue in Oklahoma.
12,000 concert hopefuls were queuing outside the venue when heavy rain and winds as strong as 80mph caused trusses located at the entrance of the open-air venue to collapse on top of the crowd. Videos taken by witnesses to the scene show fans helping the injured before emergency services arrived.
Staff at the venue had begun the process of evacuation prior to the collapse, after lightening was seen close to the venue. According to a statement from the venue, however, some chose not to heed the warnings of staff, instead choosing to stay in line amongst the severe weather.
“This was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm”
“All patrons in the area were asked to move and to seek shelter from the storm. However, about 150 patrons who were standing in line for the Backstreet Boys concert did not heed staff’s warnings,” the statement reads.
“We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favourite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm.”
One prospective concertgoer shared a video of the scene on Twitter, showing the aftermath of the collapse, complete with ambulances and police cars.
Current scene at #WinStarWorldCasino. My stomach is in knots. A pavillion collapsed in front of us on people waiting in line at the @backstreetboys concert. #oknews #BSB #okwx pic.twitter.com/7Km54rfbg7
— Sydney Stavinoha (@SydneyStavinoha) August 18, 2018
Members of Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the turn of events. From their official Backstreet Boys Twitter account the band said: “We never want to put our fans in harm’s way and with tonight’s weather and the injuries from earlier.
“We have decided to cancel the show and will attempt to reschedule. The most important thing is for everyone to get home safely and we will see you all very soon!”
Band member Kevin Richardson has since confirmed on Twitter that the concert will be rescheduled and has advised fans to keep their tickets.
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