Not a happy sharing today...
A tragedy has occured in my city. It's made national news. Most nights, our Indiana State Fair has a big concert. Saturday night was Sugarland.
Severe weather was heading toward the area. An evacuation plan was in place and about to be carried out. A gust of wind blew down the very heavily built up stage.
The videos and pictures are disturbing and scary. The information flowing out through Twitter, Facebook, and various news sources happened at an intensely fast pace.
Fatalities. People calling in to share their stories. People reporting being right by someone who died. People reporting witnessing CPR being administered. I'm praying for them tonight.
A missing child. A 10 year old girl was unaccounted for. She was found- she was unresponsive and transported to one hospital while her mom was taken to a different hospital. At the time I'm typing this, parents were at her hospital and she was in surgery. I can't imagine the terror of that family. I'm praying for them tonight.
Triage centers set up on the Fairgrounds. Jeff used to work for the Indiana Pork Producers every summer in their food tents at the Fair. One of the tents is right across from the Grandstand and we watched it turn into a triage center.
Nearby hospitals that are approved for this level of emergency were flooded with patients. One hospital had to divert patients elsewhere for a while.
It's all still chaos right now. Different stories, pictures, accounts.
But some of the stories are pretty amazing. The stage fell forward and people ran. After it fell, hundreds ran back. Groups of people worked together to lift steel off of victims. Teams of strangers came together to lift giant speakers.
Twitter and Facebook blew up with Hoosiers reporting what they were hearing on EMS (Emergency Management Services) scanners. People were sharing prayers and thoughts. The community sought to find a way to reach out to each other.
I've seen images of people who are dressed as though they were there to enjoy the concert but were donning gloves and working triage. Reports from concert goers who are also nurses who leapt into action. Reports that hospitals had immediate response of medical personnel showing up and sprinting into the building to work.
12 ambulances were on site within 15 minutes. Transportation was immediately in place to not only move the injured but to also transport the regular Fair-goers who needed to evacuate.
I have at least one friend that I first met more than a decade ago when I first started doing community theatre. She works for the Fairgrounds and has since I met her. I tweet with her - especially during the Fair. As of this writing, I haven't seen anything from her.
My prayers are with those who were there, those who were injured, those who lost loved ones.
My heart is also broken for my State Fair. Anyone who reads my blog knows how much I love my Indiana State Fair. It's like Christmas in August. It's a time of year I look forward to all year long. The people who work the Fair- it's a community that is now going to be hurting. The people who regularly attend are a community that is now going to be hurting.
I've been angry. People pointing fingers. People wondering if future concerts that were planned will still happen (like Janet Jackson). People sensationalizing.
And all I can do is pray.
Edit: I have heard from my friend who works at the Fairgrounds. She was home for the evening when it happened. I'll still be praying for her and her co-workers in the days and weeks ahead.