Report on State Fair stage collapse due Thursday - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Report on State Fair stage collapse due Thursday

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The report from a national inspector into the State Fair stage collapse is due Thursday. The report from a national inspector into the State Fair stage collapse is due Thursday.
State Rep. Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis) State Rep. Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis)
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INDIANAPOLIS -

Reports from the State Fair stage collapse will be released Thursday, along with steps that are being taken to protect your family at outdoor events this summer.

Highly-paid national inspectors will reveal what they believe caused the State Fair stage to collapse August 13 and who is at fault. Who did - or did not - clear the grandstands when the storm was coming is one question State Rep. Ed Delaney and families of the seven victims want answered.

"It wasn't real clear to me who made the ultimate decision," said Delaney (D-Indianapolis).

He said the fair's director and staff had two opportunities before the stage collapsed.

"I think it is pretty clear we have responsibility as a state. It was our property, we had two chances, build the place right or ask people to leave when there is an apparent danger and we didn't do either one of them," Delaney said.

At least one of the lost opportunities has been addressed.

"The specific problem that the city of Indianapolis' inspectors would not go on the State Fairgrounds, because it was state property," Delaney said.

Lawmakers have cleared the way for city inspectors to make sure stages are safe.

As for the other opportunity Delaney referred to, responsibility, the lead investigative firm Thornton Tomasetti's report is expected to tell us why the stage collapsed. Was it a flawed stage design, a construction error, weather, or a combination of all three?

As 13 Investigates has reported, there are questions surrounding how the stage was built, specifically the bracing used to support it. When Eyewitness News asked Governor Mitch Daniels what action he would take, he said the state would "want to wait until we have the professional report."

Now that reports are coming, what action will be taken?

"I'm assuming they will not say who is responsible directly, I'm assuming we will get information, I would hope, from the structural engineers and others that could lead us to make our own conclusions," Delaney said.

The reports will be delivered at the State Fairgrounds at 11 a.m. Thursday. The press conference will be aired live on WTHR.com.

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