One killed, dozens injured as high winds cause stage to collapse at Spanish festival

Carlera, Spain—One person was killed and dozens injured when part of the main stage collapsed early Saturday morning at a dance music festival near Valencia, Spain, emergency services said.

Other infrastructure was also damaged when a gust of wind hit Medusa Festival, a massive six-day electronic music festival held in the east coast town of Cullera.

Thirty-two people were taken to hospital on Saturday afternoon, while three remained in the hospital, according to local health officials.

Organizers said they would cancel the rest of the festival for the safety of the participants.

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

“At around 4 a.m., unexpectedly strong winds destroyed certain areas of the festival and management made an immediate decision to vacate the concert area to ensure the safety of attendees, workers and artists,” the organizers said. I was forced to,” he said.

French DJ David Guetta was scheduled to play Saturday at the festival, which was due to have DJs playing all night on five stages on Friday. I was on the main stage by the time.

“It was a tense few minutes. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before,” he wrote on Instagram.

“The tragedy happened just at the end of my session on the main stage, just below it, in the most affected (area). It was a moment of terror. I am still in shock.”

A gust of 82 kilometers per hour (51 miles per hour) was recorded at Alicante airport in the Valencia region, with “strong gusts and a sharp rise in temperature” during the night, Meteorological Agency AEMET said.

“Suddenly the wind picked up and it got really hot and all the sand started moving.

“People started coming from the concert and they told us that part of the stage, the wood had been blown out and it was a mess.”

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

“I was 30 meters away[from the stage]and I was in shock. It could have been me, it could have been anyone,” Jesus Carretero, who was attending the festival with his brother, told TVE.

Eva Mannes