One killed and dozens injured as festival stage collapses (VIDEOS)
The accident in Spain’s Valencia region was caused by “an unexpected and violent gale,” organizers of the music event said
One person was killed and dozens injured in the early hours of Saturday when strong gusts of wind brought down the stage at a music festival in Spain’s Valencia region.
According to the local Emergency Coordination center, the tragedy at the Medusa Festival in the town of Cullera happened at 4:18am.
While the initial number of injured was reported as 17, the Health Ministry later confirmed that 40 people had suffered injuries of various degrees of severity. According to the ministry’s statement, as quoted by Spanish media, some of those hospitalized with injuries have already been discharged.
The organizers of the festival, which was supposed to see a total of 320,000 attendees over three days from Friday through Sunday, said that they are “completely devastated and dismayed at what happened this morning.”
Those in charge of the event provided some details of the fatal incident, saying that at around 4am “an unexpected and violent gale devastated certain areas of the festival, forcing the management to make the immediate decision to vacate the concert area to guarantee the safety of the attendees, workers and artists gathered at Medusa Festival.”
“Unfortunately, the devastating meteorological phenomenon led some structures to cause unexpected consequences. All our support and affection for those affected in these difficult and sad times,” the statement reads.
Videos on social media show the moment when the venue’s structures, including the main stage, fell on people in the front rows. The one fatality, according to El Pais, is a 22-year-old man who was hit by part of the stage.
Ximo Puig, the head of the Valencia’s regional government, expressed his condolences over the accident.
“I want to convey my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young man who died this morning at the Medusa Festival in Cullera. We closely follow the recovery of the wounded,” Puig tweeted.