One person was killed and at least 15 were injured after a storm whipped through an outdoor country music festival, causing a stage to collapse.
Strong winds and heavy rain began hitting the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, east of Edmonton, around 6 p.m. Saturday, said Camrose Police Chief Darrell Kambeitz. He confirmed the one death and said all 15 injured were taken to hospitals.
“The concert at Big Valley Jamboree was delayed and the concert bowl was being cleared when a small portion of the main stage collapsed,” Kambeitz told The Canadian Press. He said reports of dozens of people being trapped at the site weren’t true.
Hollywood actor Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West, were scheduled to take the stage next when the storm hit, according to the Big Valley Jamboree Web site.
Nashville musician Billy Currington and his band had been performing before the structure collapsed. A member of the band was removed from the wreckage with a badly injured and bloodied arm.
Vancouver-based country music singer Jessie Farrell said the storm and its aftermath were terrifying.
“It felt like bombs were going off around us in this concrete and steel building. Huge hits of power hitting the building, and then the lights were off,” she told CTV News.
“People were missing and trying to find each other and there was a woman who was trying to tell everyone to stop panicking and she was panicking on the speakers.”
Justin Bell, a freelance writer covering the festival for Sun Media, watched the storm hit.
“It was calm and eerie for about 20 seconds then people began running,” said Bell.
The four-day festival in western Canada started Thursday and was scheduled to wrap up Sunday. It was not clear if the festival was going to continue, Kambeitz said.