Weather Channel Expert: Deadly Winds Were Forseen Ahead Of Stage Collapse

By Corinne Rose

August 18, 2011 Updated Aug 18, 2011 at 10:20 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- A Weather Channel expert refutes beliefs that the powerful wind gust which caused last Saturday's deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair could not have been foreseen.

State officials have described the gust as a "fluke" or "freakish" ahead of a severe storm.

But meteorologist Tim Ballisty told Indy t.v. stations the storm had been building over the midwest and it had a history of powerful winds.

Ballisty also said officials should have evacuated the fair when the storm warning was issued, which came 10 minutes before the stage blew down.

And while officials did tell concertgoers severe weather was moving in, the head of the state fair admits the storm warning should have been announced.

Sgt. Dave Bursten/Indiana State Police: "In the scope of this investigation, we are going to be documenting the information about the people who were injured, the people who were killed and the circumstances of the injuries and deaths."

Engineering experts have reportedly questioned whether the stage included the proper braces in place.

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