1 Dead, Dozens Injured After Storm Causes Roof Collapse at Morbid Angel Concert in Illinois
One person is dead and dozens more were injured after a severe storm caused the roof to collapse during a heavy metal concert at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Ill., on Friday night (March 31).
About 260 music fans were in attendance for a concert featuring Morbid Angel and other bands when 90 mph winds blew through the area and caused the historic venue’s roof to cave in. One person was killed and 28 others were injured, five of them severely, according to the Associated Press.
“Tonights show is Canceled due to a Tornado that hit the Venue, and caused the roof, over the area in-front of the stage, and marquee to collapse,” Morbid Angel wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
“We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe. We are currently sheltering in place, and want to extend our support and hope that everyone at the show tonight is safe. Right now our focus is on making sure everyone in the venue tonight is ok and gets home.”
Concert-goers in attendance at the 1,500-capacity venue reportedly rushed to lift the collapsed part of the ceiling and help others out of the wreckage.
“They dragged someone out from the rubble, and I sat with him and I held his hand and I was (telling him) ‘It’s going to be OK.’ I didn’t really know much else what to do,” Gabrielle Lewellyn, who was in attendance, told WTVO-TV.
Belvidere police chief Shane Woody described the scene at Apollo Theatre as “absolute chaos.”
“When officers are first on the scene, when the fire department and first responders get here, they do the best they can to control the chaos as much as possible,” Woody said, CBS Chicago reports. “But ultimately, we go in, and ultimately try and find people, and save as many people as we possibly can — and bring them to safety as best as we can.”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also tweeted on Friday, “My administration is closely monitoring the roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere tonight. I’ve been in touch with officials for updates and to direct any available resources we can.”
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