14 concertgoers injured during storm in Oklahoma on Saturday evening
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 20, 2018, 12:01:36 AM EDT
Fourteen people were injured after a structure collapsed at a concert in Oklahoma during severe thunderstorms on Saturday evening.
The concert, which featured the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees, was being held at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Thackerville is a small town located near the Oklahoma-Texas border about 80 miles northwest of Dallas.
WinStar said in a statement posted on Twitter that officials began evacuating the outdoor concert venue at 5:00 p.m. CDT after lightning was spotted nearby.
"All patrons in the area were asked to move and to seek shelter from the storm," WinStar officials said. "However, about 150 patrons who were standing in line for the Backstreet Boys concert did not heed staff’s warnings."
A severe storm blew through with high winds within the hour, causing concert entrance trusses to collapse and injure 14 of the concertgoers who did not evacuate and were underneath the structure.
Emergency personnel had to use a forklift to remove the metal sign from on top of people waiting in line at the @backstreetboys concert. #oknews #okwx #WinStarCasino #BackstreetBoys pic.twitter.com/jOcR18sffa— Sydney Stavinoha (@SydneyStavinoha) August 18, 2018
The injured were sent to nearby hospitals. All were treated for minor injuries and have since been released, according to the Associated Press.
Weather observations from nearby Denton, Texas, reported wind gusts of 61 mph as the storms blew through during Saturday evening.
Around 12,000 fans were expected to attend the sold out concert.
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“We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favorite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm,” WinStar officials said.
The concert has been postponed to a later date.
We never want to put our fans in harm's way and with tonight’s weather and the injuries from earlier, we have decided to cancel the show and will attempt to reschedule. The most important thing is for everyone to get home safely and we will see you all very soon!— backstreetboys (@backstreetboys) August 19, 2018
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