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Eastern Idaho State Fair Reacts To Stage Collapse

Five people were killed and more than 40 others injured when heavy winds tore down a stage at the Indiana State Fair.

With strong winds so prevalent in eastern Idaho we wanted to see what the Eastern Idaho State Fair officials are doing to ensure such a tragedy never happens here at home.

“It’s shocking; it’s gut wrenching; our hearts go out to those injured in the incident and those responsible to running the Indiana State Fair,” fair manager Brandon Bird said.

Bird said incidents like this is why he closely watches the weather.

?We watch the weather conditions just like every state fair is going to, trying to take precautions, making sure everything is tied down and secure in case something like that happens,? Bird said.

In Blackfoot the magic number is 40.

If winds are more than 40 miles per hour, it comes down or closes down.

“We are dealing with temporary structures and they just cannot withstand the force winds produce,? Bird said.

Bird said if it comes down to it, and safety is at risk, the show must not go on.

“As far as concerts go, we have never had problems like the one in Indiana, and we hope to never do. We have had concerts canceled because of weather, and sometimes Mother Nature, says there will be no concert.”

Over the years there’s been a lot of talk about the structural stability of the grand stands built in 1940.

Bird said some may think the fair grounds need a new grand stand because of aesthetics, and to improve that, they’ve received a new paint job over the summer.

To ensure safety, Bird said they conduct a stage safety inspection before each show begins.

The Eastern Idaho State fair begins Sept. 3 and lasts through Sept. 10.

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