The Tragedy At The Indiana State Fair

It’s easy to look at the radar and think everything is obvious. It is not. That was proven this weekend in a tragic loss of life.

Like you I have been dumbfounded after seeing the video from the stage collapse this weekend at the Indiana State Fair. There is a blog with really excellent analysis of what happened, including a play-by-play of the radar imagery available.

If you’ve been watching Rachel and me on FoxCT you probably remember a storm last month where we pointed out exactly the same feature that caused the trouble in Indiana: a gust front.

These are easily visible on radar, but only if you know what you’re looking for!

After reading these storms were being monitored by a public safety officer on his smartphone Rob White, the blogger who did the analysis, added:

On his smartphone? Really, the Special Operations Commander and fair Executive Director were monitoring the potential for incoming severe weather on a smartphone? I’m sure many of the fans out in the crowd were as well, but most of them weren’t expecting to make a life or death decision on it.

This comes back to a point that I’ve tried to make many times on this blog. When it comes to severe weather safety and preparedness at a major public event, the organizers and/or managers of such an event need to leave it to a professional to monitor the weather for them – not a layman watching the weather on a smartphone (or even on a computer via the internet for that matter).

I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy to look at the radar and think everything is obvious. It is not. That was proven this weekend in a tragic loss of life.

This is the video of a tragic event. Lives were lost onscreen. You should consider this before clicking play.

7 thoughts on “The Tragedy At The Indiana State Fair”

  1. Smart phone, computer, meteorologist – Anyone with an iota of common sense could have looked at the sky and called the show. This was about money. It’s too bad 5 people had to die because of it.

  2. So very sad. To see something like this (without the “TV editing”) shows you how fast life can be taken from us. I was impressed with many of the people running back to help instead of running away. I’m going to hug my family tighter tonight….

  3. Notice the interesting part–many, many of the men in the crowd are running toward the scene to help…without regard for their own safety, coming from as far away as the stands in the immediate foreground. Note that many of them are heading out to help instead of just standing fast.

    Gotta love the unsung heroes in this video. From other news reports, many of the rescued were helped by strangers in the audience, not just first-responder professionals. Bare hands, and guts…

  4. I can’t believe that with that band of bad weather approaching they didn’t cancel the rest of the show. Even watching something like that on a Smart phone you can see it’s going to be ugly. Very very sad.

  5. What kind of smart phone? RadarScope on the iPhone / iPad is just as capable as say GRLevel 3 on Windows. I’ve used it out in the field while spotting before. In fact, I’ve, used RadarScope running a severe weather net before.

    And a couple of people were saying things about it “not showing up on radar.” (To which I’ve had two different opinions given to me about if it would have show up or not.)

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