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  1. #1
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default Stage collapses due to severe storm - 1 dead at least 60 injured

    YIKES!!! This is the second storm of this severity this summer ... if anyone recalls the thread I posted about the CN Tower sign falling down in high winds.

    One dead, at least 60 injured after stage collapses
    By Cigdem Iltan, Edmonton Journal
    August 1, 2009 7:13 PM
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    StoryPhotos ( 2 )
    More Images » The main stage collapsed trapping people under the stage as mass panic ensued during a serve storm that blew in at the Big Valley Jamboree festival in Camrose, August 01, 2009.

    Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

    EDMONTON — One person is dead and at least 60 people are injured after a stage at a music festival in Alberta collapsed.


    The main stage at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alta. collapsed when a large storm hit the area, about 95 kilometres southeast of Edmonton, trapping an unknown number of concertgoers this afternoon, emergency officials say.


    Rescue efforts are underway. The emergency response team is unable to land on scene because of the wreckage, Capital Health spokeswoman Michelle Wilcott said.


    Meanwhile, in Edmonton, Heritage Festival organizers evacuated people from Hawrelak Park because of severe storm conditions in the Edmonton area.


    Festival attendees were evacuated just before 6 p.m., said festival spokeswoman Leanne Letourneau. The gates are expected to reopen tomorrow at 10 a.m., she said.


    Stony Plain-area residents described “hurricane-like” weather conditions after a storm ripped through the area late Saturday afternoon.

    “Trees were bent sideways and hail was the size of marbles,” said Andrew Rain, who works at a country club in the area.


    Visibility was so poor he could only see three to five metres in front of him, he said.


    Hail rocks as big as loonies damaged the siding of some houses in the Lake Westerra area of Stony Plain, said area resident Tonia Lesann.


    “All the siding on the west side of my house is going to have to be replaced,” she said.


    Sheet rain in the area quickly turned to hail. High winds knocked over trees, power lines and street signs in the area, Lesann said.


    The storm began just before 5 p.m., and lasted about one hour before dying down, he said.


    Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Edmonton area.

    As of 6:25 p.m., Environment Canada was reporting wind gusts of up to 100 km/h in the city.


    Large hail, strong winds and heavy downpours are expected to hit Edmonton by 6 p.m., meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau said.


    “People should definitely take shelter,” she said.


    Edmonton Journal


    ciltan@thejournal.canwest.com

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    UFF DA!

    Not good
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    It was probably a microburst. They are short in duration but powerful and cause extreme damage.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  4. #4
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Looks like the storm moved south from Edmonton?

    Wind-tossed debris kills toddler in downtown Calgary

    By Jamie Komarnicki and Sarah McGinnis Calgary Herald, Canwest News Service
    August 1, 2009

    StoryPhotos ( 1 )
    Emergency service personnel gather at the scene where a piece of falling construction material killed a pedestrian on 9 Ave. S.W. in Calgary.

    Photograph by: Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald

    CALGARY — A sudden, violent windstorm Saturday night appears responsible for the death of a toddler standing at the foot of the Calgary Tower after debris was lifted from a construction site by huge gusts of wind and onto a group of people.

    Paramedics said a three-year-old girl was killed, and a man and a seven-year-old boy were injured when they were struck with construction materials in the 100 block of 9th Avenue S.E.

    The three victims had been walking together near the Calgary Tower at the time. A fire department official said the material fell from as high as 40 metres.

    “It (the sheet metal) flew from the building under construction ... and into the group of people,” said fire department spokeswoman Deb Bergeson. “It probably would have been something they wouldn’t have seen coming.”

    The man, in his mid-to-late 30s, was taken to Foothills Hospital and the seven-year-old boy was transported to Alberta Children’s Hospital. Their injuries were non-life threatening, said EMS spokesman Stuart Brideaux.

    Fire fighters secured the construction site and emergency crews shut down the street.

    The incident, which occurred around 8 p.m., was seen by a crowd of horrified onlookers.

    “This piece of the building fell off, blew across the street and I’m like ‘Oh, my God,’” said Lorne Markham, 27, who was just getting out of a cab when the wind came up.

    “We ran there (to the scene), we were running. ... The screaming and yelling was too much.”

    Witness Dan Grandan said he was about a block away when incident occurred. He said the air was calm and then suddenly it was like a hurricane.

    “It was physically moving me,” he said. “It was crazy for five minutes and then died down.”

    He also saw some of the aftermath. A piece of sheet metal — which he described as steel decking about three metres by 1.5 metres — lay crumpled on the ground.

    Another witness, identifying himself only as Richard, said he saw a woman running toward the body, but police held her back.

    The tragedy was one of several chaotic scenes that resulted from surprisingly powerful wind gusts that hit the city Saturday night.

    More than 3,000 Calgarians were out of power thanks to the sudden windstorm.

    “We had several areas out of power where trees came down on power lines. There are still a couple areas without power,” Enmax spokesperson Natika Sunstrum said about an hour after the winds descended on the city.

    At least 1,200 customers in southwest Calgary and 1,700 in southeast Calgary saw their power shut off thanks to the storm, said Sunstrum.

    Calgary’s 911 call centre was also flooded with calls of downed trees and other materials that had blown across streets, said Bergeson.

    “The weather changed very dramatically,” she said. “Several trees were toppled, construction material was flying around, power outages and (debris causing) generally unsafe conditions.”

    Winds started to pick up in Calgary around 7:45 p.m. and by about 8 p.m. the Calgary airport was reporting winds of 78 kilometres an hour, said Environment Canada meteorologist Andy Yun.

    Calgary was actually fortunate when it came to winds Saturday night, since several areas including Red Deer and Stettler reported winds of more than 100 km/ hour earlier in the evening.

    As quickly as it descended on the city, the wind storm soon moved on. By 9 p.m. the airport was reporting a nice breeze, but nothing more substantial, said Yun.

    Calgary EMS were also assisting in treating injuries at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose Saturday night when the mainstage collapsed during a large storm there, reportedly killing one and injuring at least 15 people.

    Brideaux said some Calgary paramedics were already at the scene to assist in treating other ailments such as heat exhaustion when the accident occurred. While they would play a supporting role, Brideaux said Calgary paramedics were definitely there to lend a hand to anyone hurt by the stage.

    Calgary Herald

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  5. #5
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Wicked weather ...

    Outdoor concert cut short after deadly stage collapse

    By Edmonton Journal, Ben Gelinas and Andrea Sands
    August 2, 2009
    StoryPhotos ( 3 )Video ( 1 )
    More Images » The main stage collapses trapping people under the stage as mass panic ensued during a serve storm that blew in at the Big Valley Jamboree festival in Camrose, August 01, 2009.
    Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

    CAMROSE, Alta. — In the wake of a terrifying windstorm which collapsed an outdoor stage at a popular Alberta country music festival Saturday night, killing one and injuring dozens, distraught organizers cancelled the third and final day of shows as they struggled to come to grips with the tragedy.


    One of the Big Valley Jamboree festival’s organizers said staff had only two minutes’ warning that dangerous winds were headed to the packed concert site at Camrose, about 90 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.


    ”I wish nobody was hurt. I wish it never happened, but it did and now we have to deal with it,” an emotional Larry Werner said at a media conference Sunday.

    He said jamboree staff monitor the weather throughout the day. On Saturday, RCMP communications warned them at 5:55 p.m. of an unconfirmed report that a tornado had touched down near Nisku, about 70 kilometres to the northwest. Jamboree staff immediately went to clear the stage and open-air concert bowl but were too late: violent wind gusts hit the concert site at 5:57 p.m., Werner said.


    Werner was onstage with a staff member at the time.


    “It just happened so fast. We were trying to get everybody off the stage. We were trying to get people down the stairs,” he said.


    About 100 people were on or near the stage when it came down, including one person who was killed by falling debris. Camrose police have not released the name of the deceased.


    About 75 other people were injured. Two remain in hospital in critical condition.

    Among those hurt was country singer Billy Currington, who was on the stage when it collapsed. He was treated in hospital for minor injuries.


    Actor and singer Kevin Costner was also on the stage, getting ready to perform with his band. He was not hurt.


    Environment Canada meteorologist Yvonne Bilan-Wallace said the wind was the result of a 200-kilometre-long line of storm cells that moved southeast across the area. Numerous weather watches and warnings were issued throughout the province all day Saturday. A warning was issued specifically for Camrose around the same time the storm hit the Big Valley Jamboree, she said.


    A “gust front” — wind gusts with speeds exceeding 100 km per hour — was travelling about 20 kilometres ahead of the storm that hit Camrose, Bilan-Wallace said.

    Winds typically start causing damage at 60 km/h with gusts up to 90 km/h, she said. “Some structures are going to be more vulnerable to damaging winds than others,” Bilan-Wallace said.


    People need to be aware that powerful wind gusts can be just as damaging as tornadoes, she said.


    “You get them with probably the same frequency as you get tornadoes in Alberta but they can cover a huge, huge area. They might exist for hours whereas a tornado might touch down for a minute or two minutes,” said Bilan-Wallace.


    “If it’s a tornado, people take notice . . . But with any summer severe storm here, there’s a risk of these kind of straight-line winds, these gust fronts, and as you can see they can be extremely damaging.”


    Authorities were dismantling the stage Sunday and asking campers to leave the grounds.

    There is no word on a damage estimate.


    Environment Canada issued multiple severe thunderstorm warnings again Sunday, including a severe thunderstorm watch for Camrose.

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    It was probably a microburst. They are short in duration but powerful and cause extreme damage.
    Not a micro burst. A massive cold front moved through from Edmonton to southern Alberta. We felt the rath and we are 350km from Edmonton.

    In Calgary a toddler (yr old girl) died after being hit by a large piece of sheet metal that fell from a sky scraper under construction during the same wind gusts.

    The Calgary family hit by falling debris from a construction site had just wanted to show visiting relatives the Calgary Tower, says the godfather of the three-year-old girl killed in the tragedy.

    Miroslav Krsek, his wife Mariana and their children Eric, 7, and Michelle, 3, were walking downtown to show the tower to relatives from Romania about 8 p.m. Saturday when a sudden windstorm blew a large piece of corrugated metal off the site of Le Germain, a 20-storey building under construction across the street.

    Walking just behind their mother and relatives, Miroslav, Eric and Michelle were hit -- the young girl killed instantly, while her father and brother suffered serious injuries.

    "They are devastated," said Zoli Takacs, who is best friends with Miroslav and was Michelle's godfather.

    "They were (walking as) a group, but they were separated.

    "They were lucky they weren't together, if they were, maybe they would all have been hit."

    Eric underwent surgery and remains at Alberta Children's Hospital while Miroslav remains in Foothills hospital with head injuries.

    Danielle Pineault was riding her bike about 10 feet behind the group when she saw the metal sheet slam into them.

    "I was looking at this little girl and her family because she was really cute wearing a nice little white dress and this thing landed on her," she said.

    "I can still hear the mom's blood-curdling screams."

    Pineault said the metal sheet that hit the group was huge.

    "It was the size of a car, it took eight people to lift it."

    Standing next to a small memorial of flowers and a stuffed animal near the tower yesterday afternoon, family friend Elli Pagarini described Michelle as a bubbly little girl.

    "She was so smart," she said.

    "She was such a nice girl."

    Christiane Germain, co-president and CEO of Groupe Germain and a spokeswoman for the construction company, said her thoughts are with the victims.

    "This is a tragic situation and our heartfelt sorrow is expressed to the family," she said.

    DAVE.DORMER@SUNMEDIA.CA

    The Calgary family hit by falling debris from a construction site had just wanted to show visiting relatives the Calgary Tower, says the godfather of the three-year-old girl killed in the tragedy.

    Miroslav Krsek, his wife Mariana and their children Eric, 7, and Michelle, 3, were walking downtown to show the tower to relatives from Romania about 8 p.m. Saturday when a sudden windstorm blew a large piece of corrugated metal off the site of Le Germain, a 20-storey building under construction across the street.

    Walking just behind their mother and relatives, Miroslav, Eric and Michelle were hit -- the young girl killed instantly, while her father and brother suffered serious injuries.

    "They are devastated," said Zoli Takacs, who is best friends with Miroslav and was Michelle's godfather.

    "They were (walking as) a group, but they were separated.

    "They were lucky they weren't together, if they were, maybe they would all have been hit."

    Eric underwent surgery and remains at Alberta Children's Hospital while Miroslav remains in Foothills hospital with head injuries.

    Danielle Pineault was riding her bike about 10 feet behind the group when she saw the metal sheet slam into them.

    "I was looking at this little girl and her family because she was really cute wearing a nice little white dress and this thing landed on her," she said.

    "I can still hear the mom's blood-curdling screams."

    Pineault said the metal sheet that hit the group was huge.

    "It was the size of a car, it took eight people to lift it."

    Standing next to a small memorial of flowers and a stuffed animal near the tower yesterday afternoon, family friend Elli Pagarini described Michelle as a bubbly little girl.

    "She was so smart," she said.

    "She was such a nice girl."

    Christiane Germain, co-president and CEO of Groupe Germain and a spokeswoman for the construction company, said her thoughts are with the victims.

    "This is a tragic situation and our heartfelt sorrow is expressed to the family," she said.

    DAVE.DORMER@SUNMEDIA.CA
    -I have learned people will forget what you said,
    -People will forget what you did,
    -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

  7. #7
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    WOW

    Witnesses describe killer Alta. windstorm

    Sudden terror
    By Ben Gelinas, Edmonton Journal
    August 3, 2009 11:06 AM
    StoryPhotos ( 1 )Video ( 1 )
    The main stage collapses trapping people under the stage as mass panic ensued during a serve storm that blew in at the Big Valley Jamboree festival in Camrose, August 01, 2009.

    Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

    CAMROSE, Alta. -- At first, Metro Gordey could only see the woman's white legs, bending out from beneath a pile of mainstage speakers.


    Gordey had been sitting near the woman minutes earlier, on the same backstage bleachers, when a sudden and violent windstorm struck the outdoor stage Saturday evening at the Big Valley Jamboree, a popular annual country music festival in this town about 90 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.


    With a groan, the stage toppled around them. As the speakers and scaffolding fell under the pressure of a 100 km/h gale, Gordey looked up, then instinctively dove from his seat to avoid a falling beam.


    When the 67-year-old man got his bearings, his first thoughts were of his family. His wife, daughter and son-in-law were sitting with him. He couldn't see them through a claustrophobic tangle of broken wire and bent metal.


    Then Gordey heard voices, a man and woman hollering for help. The woman's leg was pinned beneath a large piece of scaffolding, and it was too heavy for the man to lift on his own. Gordey tried to help, but it was still too heavy. The men searched through the debris until they found a rod they could use as a lever to pry the woman free.


    Gordey came upon a second woman in the debris - barely 100 pounds, he said - breathing but pinned under pieces of stage far too heavy for one man to lift. Others gathered to help when Gordey spotted another woman, also trapped.


    "I could just see two white legs," he said. "I put my hand on the girl. I could not feel a pulse."


    Speakers had toppled over on the same bleachers where Gordey and his family were sitting, and Gordey couldn't shake the fear that he had found his daughter.


    Weighing down the speakers was a large, heavy tarp decorated with images. Gordey, knife in hand, tore through it.


    Seven men, including Gordey, pulled the speakers away to reveal a woman's body. "The girl was still sitting in her seat, bent over sideways," Gordey said. He helped lower her to the ground. "The body was all blue," Gordey said.


    As the rain beat down, Gordey realized the dead woman was a stranger. The executive director of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce has since identified the dead woman as Donna Moore.


    Maria Orydzuk and Kat Brandon, twin sisters, were sitting on the bleachers opposite Gordey when the wind struck. Singer Billy Currington was wrapping up his final song when the stage manager and producer Larry Werner ran on stage and flailed their arms to shut it all down.


    The wind began to topple rows of white plastic chairs, making a straight path toward the band. Guitars and drum equipment flew about as the band, crew and spectators on stage fled or braced themselves.


    "All of a sudden I heard a lady say, 'We're going down,'" Brandon said.


    The bleachers reach about six metres above the stage, secured by cables. The roaring wind snapped the cables, throwing the women down.


    Orydzuk was hit in the head with a piece of scaffolding. Either the blow or the fall cut deep into her ear. She woke up on her stomach, pinned by something heavy on her back. Orydzuk couldn't see anyone around, and somehow pulled herself free.


    Her sister was also pinned. The force of the collapse cracked her ribs. "I had no one. I was calling out names. I was in my death hole," Brandon said.


    She too managed to wriggle free on her own, and the pair was escorted to what they said was the last ambulance to St. Mary's Hospital in Camrose.


    Werner said RCMP warned them of the windstorm just two minutes before it struck, at 5:57 p.m. An Environment Canada official said they gave all the warning they could.


    "At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that I think everybody did as much as they possibly could have done," said Dan Kulak, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada. The wind was well ahead of the storm as it showed up on the radar, which gave Environment Canada the false impression that the system was still a good distance from Camrose, as much as 20 minutes away.


    A severe weather warning was issued for the Camrose area at 6:04 p.m., Kulak said. He called the stage collapse "an act of God."


    bgelinasthejournal.canwest.com

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

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    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
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  8. #8
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Real happy I read this story today... I leave on Wed to work a first aid contract for a music festival in So IL. At least now I have an idea of what kind of chaos that I can expect if (God forbid) somthing like this happens.

  10. #10
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    Real happy I read this story today... I leave on Wed to work a first aid contract for a music festival in So IL. At least now I have an idea of what kind of chaos that I can expect if (God forbid) somthing like this happens.
    Your comment makes it all worthwhile. I can't contribute much on these forums on the firefighting end of things, but if me posting this type of article helps one of you prepare a bit differently than you did before, or look at something from a different view, that's the most I could ever ask for!
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 08-03-2009 at 05:26 PM. Reason: To add something
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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