At a festival in Spain, strong winds caused a stage to collapse, killing one and injuring twelve

At a festival in Spain, strong winds caused a stage to collapse, killing one and injuring twelve
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CULLERA, Spain, Aug 13 (Reuters) – One person was killed and dozens injured after strong winds blew away part of the main stage at a dance music festival near the Spanish city of Valencia early on Saturday, emergency services said.

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

Thirty-two people were taken to the hospital, and three remained there Saturday afternoon.

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Organizers said they canceled the rest of the festival for the safety of the participants.

“We are completely shocked and saddened by what happened this morning,” organizers said on the festival’s Facebook page, adding that the “extreme” weather conditions had damaged various infrastructure on the festival grounds.

“At around four o’clock in the morning, an unexpected and violent strong wind destroyed certain areas of the festival, forcing the management to decide to immediately evacuate the concert area to ensure the safety of participants, workers and artists,” the organizers said.

DJs were scheduled to perform on five stages throughout Friday night at the festival, where French DJ David Guetta was due to play on Saturday. DJ Miguel Serna was on the main stage from 3am to 4am when the incident happened.

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

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

National meteorological agency AEMET said there were “strong winds and a sudden rise in temperature” overnight, with winds of 82 km/h (51 mph) recorded at Alicante airport in the Valencia region.

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

“People started coming from the concerts and we were told that parts of the stage, boards were blown away, it was chaos.”

National broadcaster TVE showed footage of strong winds whipping into people’s tents and festival canopies in the middle of the night as people shielded their eyes from sandstorm-like conditions.

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

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Additional reporting by Jessica Jones and Elena Rodriguez Writing by Jessica Jones Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Ros Russell and Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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