One person died, dozens injured as strong winds caused stage collapse at Spanish festival

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

Other infrastructure was damaged when storms hit the Medusa Festival, a massive six-day electronic music festival held in the eastern seaside town of Cullera.

Regional health officials said 32 people were hospitalized on Saturday afternoon and three remained there.

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

“We are completely devastated and saddened by what happened this morning,” the organizers said earlier on the festival’s Facebook page, adding that “extreme” weather conditions have damaged various infrastructures at the festival grounds.

“Around four o’clock in the morning, unexpected and strong winds destroyed certain areas of the festival, forcing the management to take the decision to evacuate the concert venue immediately to ensure the safety of participants, workers and performers.” Said.

During the festival, which will be played by French DJ David Guetta on Saturday, DJs are scheduled to play on five stages throughout the night on Friday. DJ Miguel Serna was on the main stage between 03:00 and 04:00 when the incident occurred.

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

“The tragedy was on the main stage, just below, the most affected (area) at the end of my session. The few minutes were terrifying, I’m still in shock.”

The national weather agency AEMET said there was “strong winds and a sudden rise in temperatures” at Alicante airport in the Valencia region during the night, with breezes of 82 km/h (51 mph).

“Suddenly there was a lot of wind, a lot of hot weather, all the sand started to move, we saw the tents flying,” said a festival attendee, whose name is Laura.

“People started coming from the concerts and they told us parts of the stage, the boards were blown up, there was chaos.”

National broadcaster TVE showed footage showing strong winds hitting people’s tents and festival tents at midnight as people shielded their eyes from sandstorm-like conditions.

“We are in shock that we are 30 meters from the stage. It could have been me, it could have been anyone,” Jesus Carretero, who was at the festival with his brother, told TVE.

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

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