1 Dead, Over 40 Injured in Illinois After Roof Collapse at Metal Concert
At least one person was killed and 48 others were injured after severe storms rolled through northern Illinois and caused the roof of the Apollo Theatre to collapse on Friday night, with hundreds in attendance for a heavy metal concert.
Two of the injured were in a “life-threatening” condition and officials have not identified the person who was killed, The Chicago Tribune reports.
At this time, it is unknown if a tornado touched down in Belvidere, Illinois, which is about 70 miles northwest of Chicago, but other buildings in the downtown area of the town of about 25,000 people suffered significant damage and wind speeds of 90mph were clocked.
A little less than 300 people were inside the theater for a show headlined by Florida death metal band Morbid Angel, along with the groups Crypta, Skeletal Remains, and Revocation. WLS-TV reports that the concert-goers were waiting for the sold out show to start when the storm hit.
The show was canceled after the roof of the historic theater collapse, the band Morbid Angel announced on Facebook.
“Tonight’s show is canceled due to a Tornado that hit the Venue, and caused the roof, over the area in-front of the stage , and marquee to collapse,” Morbid Angel said. “We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe. We are currently sheltering in place, and want to extend our support and hope that everyone at the show tonight is safe.”
Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody spoke with reporters and described the scene as “chaos, absolute chaos.”
Video obtained by the New York Times showed the aftermath of the storm inside and outside of the venue. Parts of the roof and bricks littered the ground as people tried to help others who were trapped in the rubble.
The monster storm system brought winter weather to Minneapolis and the Upper Midwest while spawning tornadoes and severe weather from Chicago to the Deep South, killing at least 21 people across several states.