St. Louis storm uproots tent; one dead, several injured

Monday, April 30, 2012

Location of St. Louis in the United States.
Image: Faigl.ladislav.

On Saturday, a large tent near Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri was lifted from the ground with an estimated 150 people inside it. One person died at a nearby hospital and sixteen others were hospitalized. Almost 100 other people were treated at the scene for minor injuries including one broken arm, according to officials.

The incident occurred just before 4 p.m. central time behind Kilroy's, a bar just south of Busch Stadium. The storm produced winds of 50 mph which lifted the tent and blew it into a neighboring railroad trestle. "I thought a train fell off the track," said owner of Kilroy's, Art Randall. City guidelines mandate the tent should have withstood 90 mph winds. The tent had been issued a permit by the city. Frank Oswald, building commissioner, said the tent had been inspected two days after the permit was issued. The cause of the failure has not been determined, but the fire marshal is investigating.

Map of St. Louis with the locations of Busch Stadium and Kilroy's Sports Bar indicated.
Image: Dr. Blofeld.

A total of eleven medical units helped at the scene, and numerous fire departments showed up, according to Deputy Fire Chief John Altmann.

The patrons not paying attention to weather warnings may have contributed to the amount of injuries, Altmann said at a press conference held four hours after the incident. "Anytime we put a lot of people in open areas and you have hazardous weather, it is a dangerous situation," said Altmann.