BELVIDERE, IL (CelebrityAccess) – One person was killed and 28 injured at the Apollo Theatre AC on Friday (March 31) after the roof collapsed as a powerful storm and high winds swept through Belvidere. The name of the deceased and those injured have not been released.
The heavy metal bands Morbid Angel, Skeletal Remains, and Revocation were scheduled to perform.
WFLD-TV, a Chicago Fox affiliate, reports more than 20 ambulances were called to the scene and that the collapse was called a “mass casualty event.” According to ABC30.com, several people were seen being taken from the venue on stretchers.
The venue’s marquee sign crashed onto State Street, hitting the building on the way down – littering the area with debris and bricks as first responders climbed the rumble to get to the wounded.
There were approximately 250 inside the venue waiting for the show, scheduled to begin at 7 pm. Morbid Angel took to their official Instagram page with the following post after the venue was hit:
“*ATTENTION* Tonight’s show is Canceled due to a Tornado that hit the Venue. We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe. We are currently sheltering in place and want to extend our support and hope that everyone at the show tonight is safe. Right now, our focus is on making sure everyone in the venue tonight is ok and gets home.”
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Theresa Best, of Woodstock, was on her way to the show when friends began calling her to let her know what had happened. She told ABC30, “The metal community is so nice, and my heart just aches for anybody who did lose their life. I just hope all my friends are OK.”
Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle said first responders wre on the scene within two minutes, which tracks as the fire station is just across the street. Mystateline.com reports Schadle said one person was killed; five were taken to a local hospital for severe injuries, eighteen with moderate and five with minor injuries.
Governor JB Pritzker tweeted out regarding the tragic accident, saying:
“My administration is closely monitoring the roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere tonight. I’ve been in touch with officials for updates and to direct any available resources we can. As we learn more, please follow the guidance of all local authorities.”
A line of powerful storms swept through the Midwest on Friday night with winds up to 75 mph – downing power lines and trees throughout northern Illinois.
CelebrityAccess sends prayers and good vibes to everyone involved in the roof collapse.
*This is a developing story.