1 killed after strong winds cause stage collapse at music festival in Spain

Published: Aug. 13, 2022 at 10:50 AM EDT
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CULLERA, Spain (CNN) - One person died Saturday and dozens more were injured, three of them seriously, after a stage collapsed at a music festival near Valencia, Spain, according to local officials.

Disaster struck at the Medusa Festival in the town of Cullera near Valencia at 4:18 a.m. local time “due to a strong gust of wind,” they said.

The man killed in the stage collapse incident was 22 years old, the Spanish Civil Guard told CNN.

Early Saturday morning festival management announced that the festival had been suspended.

“Due to inclement weather occurring in the early hours of Aug. 13, 2022, and with the aim of guaranteeing the security of the concert-goers, workers and artists gathered at the Medusa Festival, the festival organization suspends its activity for the time being,” festival management said on Instagram.

“The festival site is cleared as a preventative measure with the aim of facilitating the work of the emergency and security services at the Medusa Festiva,” it added.

Videos posted on social media early Saturday showed strong winds and structures falling from the stage as large crowds of festival attendees were evacuated.

The Civil Guard said there were about 50,000 people at the festival site when the incident happened. The press office added that evacuation of the festival took about 40 minutes and the exit doors to the site were functioning properly.

The Spanish Civil Guard, Spain’s paramilitary police unit that is in charge of the investigation, also said there was more damage than just the partial collapse of the stage.

“Due to a strong gust of wind, the main entrance and the main stage of the Medusa Festival in Cullera fell to the ground,” the Civil Guard press office in Valencia told CNN.

The Valencia section of Spain’s national weather service (AEMET) said on Twitter that warm breezes were producing very strong gusts of wind and abrupt increases in temperature.

Around 3 a.m. local time, the temperature was a blistering 40.5 Celsius (104.9 degrees Fahrenheit) at the Alicante-Elche airport, just south of the concert site, on the Mediterranean coast -- with winds measuring 82 kilometers (around 50 miles) per hour.

Temperatures have been soaring across Europe with droughts declared in several parts of England and wildfires in France.

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