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One dead, dozens injured when strong winds cause stage to collapse at Spain festival

One dead, dozens injured when strong winds cause stage to collapse at Spain festival
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CULLERA, Spain, Aug 13 (Reuters) – One person was killed and dozens were injured when strong winds caused part of the main stage at a dance music festival near the Spanish city of Valencia to collapse early on Saturday, services said. emergency.

Other infrastructure was also damaged when the gusts hit the Medusa Festival, a huge six-day electronic music festival in the east coast city of Cullera.

Thirty-two people were taken to hospital and three remained there as of Saturday afternoon, regional health authorities said.

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Organizers said they were canceling the rest of the festival for the safety of attendees.

“We are completely devastated and saddened by what happened this morning,” organizers said earlier on the festival’s Facebook page, adding that “extreme” weather conditions had caused damage to various infrastructure at the festival site.

“At around four in the morning, unexpected and violent strong winds destroyed certain areas of the festival, forcing the management to make an immediate decision to vacate the concert area to ensure the safety of attendees, workers and artists,” organizers said.

The festival, where French DJ David Guetta was due to play on Saturday, had DJs scheduled to play Friday night on five stages. DJ Miguel Serna was on the main stage for his set from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. when the incident occurred.

“It was a tense few minutes, I have never experienced anything like this before,” he wrote on Instagram.

“The tragedy happened right at the end of my session on the main stage, just below it, which was the most affected (area). It was a few moments of horror, I’m still in shock.”

The national meteorological agency AEMET said there were “strong gusts of wind and a sudden increase in temperatures” overnight, with gusts of 82 kph (51 mph) recorded at Alicante airport in the Valencia region.

“Suddenly there was a lot of wind, very hot air, all the sand started to move, we saw tents flying,” said a festival attendee, named only Laura.

“People began to arrive from the concerts and according to what they told us, parts of the stage, wood, were blown up, it was chaos.”

National broadcaster TVE showed footage of strong gusts of wind hitting festival tents and awnings in the middle of the night as people shielded their eyes from sandstorm-like conditions.

“We are in a state of shock because we were 30 meters (from the stage). It could have been me, it could have been anyone,” Jesús Carretero, who was at the festival with his brother, told TVE.

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Additional Reporting by Jessica Jones and Elena Rodriguez Written by Jessica Jones Edited by Kirsten Donovan, Ross Russell, and Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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