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St. Louis Tent Collapse Kills 1, Injures 100

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 30, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An Illinois man was killed and about 100 people were hurt when high winds caused a deadly tent collapse outside a St. Louis sports bar, the Associated Press reports.

The tent collapse happened as a fast-moving storm rolled in Saturday, after a St. Louis Cardinals game at nearby Busch Stadium. Winds exceeded 70 mph, a spokesman for St. Louis' mayor said.

City officials approved the bar's tent permit, and the tent passed a city inspection that requires tents to withstand 90-mph winds, the AP reports. But now city inspectors are taking another look.

"This tent was inspected, but we need to make sure there weren't modifications to it," the mayor's spokesman said.

The deadly St. Louis tent collapse occurred when a sudden gust of wind shattered the aluminum poles holding up the tent. Debris flew through the air as the tent was blown onto nearby railroad tracks.

About 200 people were underneath the tent when it collapsed. About 100 victims were treated for injuries at the scene, and 17 were taken to hospitals, the AP reports. One man -- Alfred Goodman, 58, of Waterloo, Ill. -- was killed.

St. Louis officials told the AP it's too early to determine whether the bar may face sanctions. But if investigators determine the bar was somehow at fault, that could set the stage for victims to file tent collapse lawsuits alleging negligence and seeking compensation for their injuries.

In its defense, the bar could claim its patrons assumed the risk of injury, or were themselves negligent, by being in an outdoor tent during severe weather. That's similar to what the band Sugarland claimed in its defense, when fans sued for negligence after high winds toppled a stage at an outdoor concert in Indiana last summer. Seven people died, and 58 were hurt in the Sugarland stage collapse.

In the wake of Saturday's deadly St. Louis tent collapse, lawmakers may take another look at the city's tent regulations, the mayor's spokesman told the AP.

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