One person is dead and at least 60 people were injured after the main stage at Camrose’s Big Valley Jamboree collapsed when a powerful storm hit the area.
One dead, 60 injured at BVJ
Edmonton / iNews880.com
At least one person is dead, and at least 60 others are injured following a stage collapse at the Big Valley Jamboree.
The main stage collapsed just as Billy Currington was wrapping up his set. Emergency crews from towns, counties, and cities nearby were all dispatched to help, including Edmonton Fire Rescue.
Thousands of campers were still at the grounds hours later. Camrose Police Chief Daryl Kambeitz said they were having those still out at Big Valley stay exactly where they were.
Terrifying firsthand accounts of the dramatic turn of events at Big Valley Jamboree were called into our newsroom. Susan Noden describes what she saw. "The sky had kind of gotten blacken-greenish colour. I thought there would just be a storm and some rain like any other time. I sat down, and the next thing I know, I'm being hit by flying chairs. There's a dust cloud. When the dust dimmed a little bit, I could see the stage was down. The girders that the crew had been working on just 10 minutes before, were snapped like toothpicks."
Country singer Jessie Farrell gave us a dramatic account of the scene at the Big Valley Jamboree. "I finished my set and then Billy Currington went up. He was on the last song, and the whole - we're in the dark right now because there's no power, thousands of people, in the trade centre, in the dark, and we're all soaking wet - and his whole band- the whole stage collapsed on them and pieces started flying everywhere- poles started flying everywhere, they can't find their bass player and Billy Currington was hit in the head with a pole."
Farrell adds security on site is told her that lots of security, attendees and musicians were unaccounted for in the following hours after the incident.
Currington and his band were reunited shortly after we spoke to Farrell. Currington and his bass player were taken to the hospital.
Kevin Costner was at Big Valley Jamboree, but escaped injury. He did however escort others to the hospital.
CISN's Chris Scheetz says emergency crews were searching through the aftermath within the next few hours. "They are now slowly, very slowly, lifting the stage. You can imagine - they don't know if anyone is under it or not, so they're lifting it up very, very slowly. The Edmonton Fire Department are standing by. They are the ones who are highly trained to get into these small areas, and to do that kind of work. That is why they're here. I'm hoping they're just lifting the stage as a precaution, because with all of that metal, you just really can't know."
The Church of God in Camrose, is in contact with the hospital and has a list of missing/found people. Friends and family can contact them at: 780-672-3461.
It's expected to be announced Sunday as to when, or if the concert will continue; or if the site will be cleared out.
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