Fourteen concertgoers were wounded Saturday when a violent, sudden storm thinned at an outdoor location in Oklahoma, prior to a performance by the Backstreet Boys,
About 150 concertgoers were in waiting at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville when the storm struck at 5.30pm. CDT, according to the resort. Winds estimated at 80 mph blew across the bunches at the entrance to the site, resulting in injuries.
The wounded were treated on the spot by Love County, Oklahoma, paramedics and others who responded with police and highway patrol officials. They were taken to local hospitals. Two were released, the officials of the resort said.
"We know fans often suffer from bad weather for their favorite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm," said Kym Koch Thompson, a spokesperson for WinStar.
The Concert of Backstreet Boy and 98 Degrees has been canceled. Officials said it would be moved at a later date.
Video made by some of the attendees shows a crowd of fans and emergency services. One of the Backstreet Boys, Kevin Richardson, tweeted that the emergency crews were on the spot after the collapse of a tent and the injuries among those seeking protection. He said that 12,000 fans were expected for the concert.
He tweeted later that security inspectors "checked the structural integrity of the stage before one of our crew could come on stage to assess the damage to our lights, noise and production elements. "
Officials say that they had seen the storm coming and warned concert goers to seek cover. They observed lightning about 4 miles away half an hour before the storm hit. Those who are still queuing "have not paid attention to the warnings of the staff," said the resort's statement.
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