From the wires – CBC/CP/CBC Radio/Metro Ottawa and Ottawa Citizen
CBC Radio reports that a freakish windstorm kicked up a fuss in Ottawa last night.
Here’s a hint from the video above! Flip flops are not conducive to running from a tornado!
Really. And this is a scary night in Ottawa.
A stage collapsed and several people were hospitalized.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
CP reports: Ottawa Bluesfest in the middle of a Cheap Trick concert Sunday, sending thousands of people scurrying for cover as scaffolding buckled and collapsed in a heap.
At least four people were injured, one seriously.
Eyewitnesses said band members were tossed off their feet when the storm struck shortly before 8 p.m. EDT, but Cheap Trick said they were merely shaken, not hurt.
“Everyone is okay and we are so lucky to be alive and hope that all the fans are okay too,” the veteran rock band — best known for hits including “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me” — said in a message posted on their Facebook page.
Video of the Bluesfest site posted on YouTube showed the stage, which stood several storeys tall, being propelled backward before crumpling and damaging a tractor-trailer truck parked behind it.
Without elaborating, Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander ended the band’s Internet posting with the words, “And all the best to our truck driver Sandy.”
Band manager Dave Frey told CNN “one of our drivers will spend the night in the hospital.”
Twisted shards of metal jutted out from the devastated stage, which was cordoned off as concert-goers filed out of the large venue adjacent to the Canadian War Museum.
Bryce Wilson, 12, had just caught a guitar pick when he looked up and saw the stage lights swaying.
“Thirty seconds later the whole thing just fell down right in front of us. Before it fell all the way down I was already running.
“We were really scared.”
His mother, Leanne, said the stage slowly heaved backwards and caved in.
“In less than 10 seconds it was gone,” she said. “They were playing right until it fell. And then instantly everybody was just running and screaming.
The You Tube video shows a black sky and some unholy gusts.
The Ottawa Citizen reports that: “Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was descending from the best seat in the house at Bluesfest Sunday night when the main stage blew down at 7:20.
“A short time earlier, he’d proclaimed Bluesfest Day in Ottawa, in honour of the original crew of five organizers who brought the festival to the city two decades ago, and accepted a gift of a guitar pick from Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, he said. “The organizers asked if I wanted to stay and watch the show for a bit.”
So he and aides Danielle McGee and Joel Thirsk mounted the tower of scaffolding a few dozen metres from the main stage and enjoyed the music for a bit along with Bluesfest staffer A.J. Sauvé and a video crew shooting the show. They watched from light plastic lawn chairs, about 15 metres up, sharing a space “about as big as two sheets of plywood,” Watson said.
“You could see there were clouds coming in from over the War Museum,” Watson said. “And A.J. Sauvé said to me, ‘If it gets too stormy, we should head down because it gets very windy up top’.”
Says Metro Ottawa:
“An official with Bluesfest, who did not want to be identified, said the situation was chaotic in the moments following the stage’s collapse,” said the CP report.
But Robert said fellow fans didn’t seem to panic.
“It was fairly orderly. People were aware that something serious was going on.
“There wasn’t any pushing or shoving.”
Said concert attendee Jordan Potechin: “When we were walking away from it all we could hear were sirens, coming from every direction, fire trucks, police.”
The windstorm caused major power outages across the Ottawa region. Police said they received more than 300 emergency calls in a two-hour period.