Several fans were injured before a planned Backstreet Boys concert in Oklahoma Saturday evening after a storm caused a structure near the outdoor venue to collapse, according to local reports and bandmembers Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson.
After the structure collapse, Richardson said the band would not be able to perform and promised to make it up to fans.
"Update... unfortunately, due to damage sustained in the storm earlier this evening, we are unable to perform the show tonight. Safety is always #1. Keep your tickets because, Backstreet WILL BE BACK," Richardson wrote.
Update... unfortunately, due to damage sustained in the storm earlier this evening, we are unable to perform the show tonight. Safety is always #1. Keep your tickets because, Backstreet WILL BE BACK! ✌?❤️— Kevin Richardson (@kevinrichardson) August 19, 2018
According to a statement from the Winstar World Casino and Resort provided to Entertainment Tonight, 14 people were injured during the extreme weather. At about 5:30 p.m. local time, the storm's 70 to 80 miles per hour winds and heavy rain knocked down the concert trusses.
About a half-hour before the incident, casino officials started an evacuation of the outdoor concert venue, but about 150 concertgoers did not listen to the warnings and remained in line for the performance.
Fourteen people were treated at the scene and rushed to nearby hospitals. Two have already been released.
"We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favorite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm," Winstar World spokeswoman Kym Koch Thompson said in the statement.
"Waiting and praying for our fans that were injured. If we can perform were ready to go. But safety is first," Carter tweeted, along with a photo of storm clouds over the venue.
Waiting and praying for our fans that were injured. If we can perform were ready to go. But safety is first. pic.twitter.com/0GlB9fbmoc— Nick Carter (@nickcarter) August 19, 2018
"Hey folks! Severe weather, high winds and rain just passed thru here in Thackerville, OK," Richardson tweeted. "Emergency crews are on the seen as tent [collapsed] and some folks who were seeking shelter were injured. Waiting to determine damage to our stage and production. Status of show TBD."
Hey folks! Severe weather, high winds and rain just passed thru here in Thackerville, OK. Emergency crews are on the seen as tent calapsed and some folks who were seeking shelter were injured. Waiting to determine damage to our stage and production. Status of show TBD. ✌?❤️— Kevin Richardson (@kevinrichardson) August 18, 2018
Richardson said the show was sold out. In his latest tweet, Richardson said they were waiting for word from a safety inspector to examine the structural integrity of the stage before giving them the green light to perform.
Update... we are waiting on the safety inspector to inspect the structural integrity of the stage before any of our crew can get on the stage to asses the damage to our lights, sound and production elements. After which we can determine if we CAN perform. Stand by...— Kevin Richardson (@kevinrichardson) August 19, 2018
Several fans at the event tweeted photos and videos from the scene, including one woman who said her husband was hurt.
Another video shared by the same fan showed a fan being taken from the scene on a stretcher.
Was right behind when it fell. Would love to know if those injured are okay. pic.twitter.com/3g8TrNS6gj— Nikole Berry (@NikoleJagow) August 19, 2018
Another fan at the scene tweeted that officials had to use a forklift to remove a metal sign that fell onto people.
Emergency personnel had to use a forklift to remove the metal sign from on top of people waiting in line at the @backstreetboys concert. #oknews #okwx #WinStarCasino #BackstreetBoys pic.twitter.com/jOcR18sffa— Sydney Stavinoha (@SydneyStavinoha) August 18, 2018
After the concert was cancelled, WinStar said all tickets will be honored when the concert is rescheduled.1comments
"We have been looking forward to a great show with the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees for many months, read the statement. "While we were excited to welcome them to The Colosseum at WinStar, the results of serious weather in the area has caused the show to be postponed to a later date. Our primary concern is the safety of our patrons, event staff and artists and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused ticket holders. We will notify patrons of the new date and time. Tickets to the August 18 show will be honored at the new date."
Photo credit: Facebook / BSB