Belvidere, Ill. (CBS) — The roof and marquee collapsed Friday evening amid severe weather during a concert at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois.
Officials confirmed that one person was killed in the debris. 28 others were injured.
Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadl said five people were rushed from the scene with serious injuries, 18 with moderate injuries and five with minor injuries.
Others may have found their way to the hospital.
The collapse was caused by gusts of up to 90 miles per hour.
Death metal bands kicked off the sold-out concert at 7 p.m Sick angel, withdrawal and skeletal remains They were in the bank at the scene.
The collapse occurred about 30 minutes into the concert. The first call came in as a mass-casualty collapse.
About 260 people were inside the theater for the concert — including the crowd, staff and orchestra, Shadel said. The capacity of the theater is about 1,500.
Video from the scene showed the marquee collapsing to the ground, as did much of the large willstring truss roof.
Bricks were also lying in the middle of the street. Some debris fell on nearby cars.
Inside the theatre, the roof in front of the proscenium collapsed – open to the outside with a flash of lightning. Then people may gather in front of the stage.
Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody described the scene when police arrived.
“Confusion. Absolute chaos,” he said. “When the officers are first on the scene, when the fire department and first responders get here, they do what they can to control the chaos as much as possible. But at the end of the day, we go in and ultimately try to find and save people. As many people as we can – get them as safe as we can.” Let’s bring it.”
Illinois state Rep. Dave Vella (D-Loves Park) said he was out to dinner with his wife in nearby Rockford and rushed to Belvidere when he learned of the collapse.
“It’s terrible what happened. The Apollo Theater is one of the most iconic places here and this damage is heartbreaking,” Vella said.
Cyclone Vella caused severe damage in a small area.
“Rockford is only about 10 minutes away and we don’t get much,” Vella said.
Gov. JP Pritzker says he’s in touch with officials to mobilize available resources.
Social media video from witness Mike Winters shows people rushing to help after the roof and ceiling collapsed. Vella said there were reports of people still trapped hours after the collapse, but everyone was evacuated from the building by 10 p.m.
A Chicago Fire Department source said there was a demand for 20 ambulances. Several police and fire departments were dispatched to the scene.
No first responders were injured, Schadle said.
Vella said there were hundreds of people at the concert and many family members were scared late Friday.
“It’s a big storm that’s hit this area, and I’m telling you, as a community we’ve been hit hard right now by a lot of economic things,” Vella said. “It’s not a great time.”
CBS 2’s Marisa Perlman spoke with a high school student who rushed to the scene to help. He said he grew up in Belvidere and spoke with his father, whose 19-year-old son was injured.
“When I first got here I witnessed people stretching out in front of the Apollo Theater,” Jayden Callaghly said. “Looks like they’re trying to get an ambulance access; EMTs.”
Shadle said the MABAS 8 technical rescue team remained at the scene until 10 p.m., conducting secondary searches and stabilizing the building.
Family and friends in the area should go to the fire station to search for concertgoers.
Belvidere is located in Boone County, 72 miles from Chicago.
Apollo is located at 104 N. State St. on the north end of the Belvidere business district.
According to Cinema Treasures, the Apollo Theater opened in 1921 as a stage play, movie and vaudeville venue. It has been the live music venue that Apollo Theater AC has been caked with for the past several years.
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