By JOHN STEVENS and PAUL BENTLEY
Horror: The moment strong winds caused the stage rigging for the outdoor concert to collapse at the fairground in Indianapolis
This is the horrifying moment a stage collapsed during a storm last night at the Indiana State Fair, killing at least five people and injuring dozens more.
Fans screamed hysterically after strong winds caused the stage rigging for the outdoor concert to collapse on top of them shortly before 9pm as a country music band were about to perform.
Rescue: Emergency crews were called to the scene and workers and set up a command centre to tend to those who were injured
Emergency crews were called to the scene to tend to those trapped beneath the stage and workers set up a command centre to treat to those who were injured. Children are said to have been among 45 people who were badly hurt.
Thousands of concert-goers were being evacuated to a nearby building because of high winds of up to 60 mph (96 km/h) when the rigging for the stage fell onto the track where some were seated.
'It was like it was in slow motion,' concert-goer Amy Weathers told the Indianapolis Star. 'You couldn't believe it was actually happening.'
Ominous: Fans try desperately to flee as the stage suddenly crumbles above them
Those who were injured were being moved to a tunnel below the stage, the Star reported. A hole was being dug to try to reach those trapped beneath the rigging.
Gov. Mitch Daniels called the collapse a 'freakish accident', but he praised the response as instantaneous and highly professional.
Trapped: The stage falls on top of the people who were trying to run away
'Individual Hoosiers ran to the trouble, not from the trouble, by the hundreds, offering, in many cases, their own professional skills.'
A stage crew member who was working up in the rigging is said to have died, crushed after he fell to the ground with the stage.
A 17-year-old boy may never walk again after his back was broken in the accident, his mother said.
Serious incident: The stage fell just before country duo Sugarland were scheduled to perform
One man who narrowly escaped the falling stage said: 'When the stage collapsed, it missed my foot by about a foot and a half.'
After making sure his girlfriend was alright, he said he helped try to lift the scaffolding off people who were trapped.
Panic: Fans waiting to see Sugarland run away after high winds blew the stage over
Rescue: Family members tend to their injured relatives after the horrific accident
Treatment: Indianapolis Fire Department personnel and paramedics tend to the victims of the stage collapse
Fall: About a dozen people are reported to have injuries after the stage collapsed
Signs: A spokesman gives the crowd instructions on how to evacuate if the weather worsens just two minutes before the stage collapsed
Devastation: The National Weather Service reports portions of the stage were blown into the grandstands
The morning after: The stage lies a crumbled mess this morning after last night's collapse