Saturday, April 26, 2008

Starfield band shocked as floor gives way during concert last night

The Starfield Band was in awe as they watched the floor right in front of the stage crumble. While thousands of kids danced to the Christian rock sounds of Starfield and a photographer was taking pictures, the floor started to rumble and then collapsed.

Our prayers go out to all that were hurt - the ones at the concert - the ones involved and Starfield band.

To find out more read this article from the Canadian Press

Floor collapsed 'like an elevator' at B.C. church during concert: witnesses
5 hours ago

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Felicia Daase had little choice but to watch in horror as her friends plunged "like an elevator" through the floor of a local church during a Christian rock concert in this British Columbia community late Friday night.

Several dozen people were injured at Abbotsford's Central Heights Church, where a mostly teenage audience of about 1,000 gathered to watch a popular Christian rock band, when people were sent falling several metres into the basement below.

Seconds later, the large lighting and sound system, which was attached to a metal stand extending up from the floor, toppled over onto audience members as the wood beneath it gave way, witnesses said.

"The whole floor just went down, kind of like an elevator, it just went straight down," Felicia Daase said Saturday from her home in nearby Chilliwack.

"And then I saw the beam that holds the lights and stuff, and it fell about five pews in front of me. A whole bunch of people were under it."

The local health authority said more than 40 people were treated in hospital for injuries that included bruises and broken bones.

Two people were transported to hospital in Vancouver, and police confirmed one of them, a 41-year-old woman, was reported to have suffered critical injuries. The condition of the second patient in Vancouver wasn't available.

Police said it was too early to speculate about what exactly caused the collapse, and said investigators would likely enlist the help of an engineer to help sort out what happened.
Daase, who was sitting in a pew farther back from where the floor caved in, said minutes before the collapse the band, Starfield, was urging the audience to stop jumping up and down.
"I started hearing the lead singer, he started yelling, 'Stop guys, stop,"' she said.
Daase still hadn't heard from a friend who was with her at the concert, who she had been told was taken to hospital.

Rob Neiman, a 42-year-old Christian bookstore worker who was at the concert, said he looked into the hole and saw more than 50 people down below.

"It was like a pile of wreckage, bodies laying everywhere people running and scattering," he said. "And then there was rescue people down there trying to rescue people from under the rigging and the pews."

Despite the large crowd packed into the church at the time, Neiman said the scene was mostly orderly immediately after the collapse.

Some rushed outside as fire sprinklers rained down, while others, including the band's singer, tried to help the injured.

"The lead singer of the band, as soon as it happened, he actually threw his microphone to the side and he jumped right into the crowd to start saving people," said Neiman.

"He jumped right down into the hole, 10 feet down, and he was down there pulling stuff off people and trying to get people out."

The concert was organized by a private promoter that rented the church space, and similar events have been held without any problems, said the church's head pastor, Chris Douglas.
Douglas, who wasn't at the event but headed to the church soon after hearing what happened, said the main worship hall was well below its capacity of 1,300 or 1,400.

He said the audience appeared to be from throughout the community, not just from his congregation.

Douglas said churches will need to come together as the young audience comes to grips with what happened.

"You've got young people there and this is probably for them one of the worst things they've ever seen happen in their lives," said in an interview outside the church Saturday.
"Right now, you come together as a community - a community of churches, not just Central Heights - and we're going to support one another, pray for one another and try to take care of each other."

His church planned to hold its Sunday service as usual, either in a different part of the church building or at another location.

When news of the collapse first reached local health officials, they were told to expect mass casualties, but the actual number of injured was far lower than feared.
Fraser Health spokesman David Plug said the injured arrived either on their own or by ambulance at four area hospitals.

All were treated and discharged except for two who were sent to Vancouver General Hospital for more specialized care, he said.

"Most of the patients are minor fractures and similar injuries but there are some serious injuries and patients are still being assessed," he said.
Const. Casey Vinet of the Abbotsford police said every available officer responded, as did some from neighbouring communities.

"It was very busy, certainly as word got out parents, friends and others attended the area as well," he said.


Anonymous said...

I was there. Prayer should not only be prayed over those who were injured but also those who witnessed seeing the crowd in front of the stage sink to the floor below. I will forever be tramautized by this experience as I continue replaying the incident over and over in my head.

Artist of the Day - Geribzz said...

Our prayers are with you