One dead and dozens injured as high winds cause stage to collapse at Spain festival

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

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

Thirty-two people were taken to hospital and three remained there on 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 caused damage to various infrastructure at the venue. festival.

“Around four in the morning, strong and unexpected winds destroyed some areas of the festival, forcing management to take the immediate decision to leave the concert area to ensure the safety of participants, workers and artists,” said the directors. organizers.

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

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

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

National weather agency AEMET said there had been “strong gusts of wind and a sudden increase in temperatures” overnight, with gusts of 82 km/h (51 mph) recorded at the airport. Alicante in the region of Valencia.

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

“People started coming to concerts and from what they told us, parts of the stage, of the wood, were washed away, 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 the sandstorm conditions.

“We are in shock because we were 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 by Jessica Jones and Elena Rodriguez Writing by Jessica Jones Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Ros Russell and Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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