State Fair Commission Cites Security Concerns

Latest Report On State Fair Stage Collapse Will Not Be Released To Public

By Maureen Mespell

May 29, 2012 Updated May 29, 2012 at 6:41 PM EST

Fort Wayne, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- We may never know exactly what's in the latest government report on the Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

Members of the State Fair Commission say that's because of security concerns.

Indiana's NewsCenter spoke with Attorney General Greg Zoeller to find out what's changed since the first two reports. Both of those reports were released with no problems and they primarily focused on ways to improve safety and what happened leading up to the deadly collapse that left seven people dead and more than 40 hurt just before a Sugarland concert at the State Fairgrounds August of 2011.

The reports say the stage wasn't built strong enough to meet state building codes.

State Senator Jim Merritt, who sits on the Fair Commission, says he supports Homeland Security's choice to not release the third report.

Merritt says the report, "Includes sensitive information that needs to remain confidential for security purposes."

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says his office has already released $5 million in tort claim funds and won't be withholding any information. "The legislature came back and authorized another $6 million, and I'm hoping to again get that out to the victims and those people who are still suffering as quickly as possible. So, all of that will be made public."

With festival season going into full swing, the new state rules require emergency plans as well as stage and equipment inspections.

The Three Rivers Festival organizers say they already take many of those steps but expect even more inspections this year.




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