Stage falls at Ottawa Bluesfest; no major injuries

Associated Press
Rick Nielsen, the lead guitarist for the rock band Cheap Trick, walks past the main stage at Ottawa Bluesfest after it collapsed in Ottawa, Ontario on Sunday July 17, 2011. The main stage at Ottawa Bluesfest collapsed during a severe thunderstorm that sent thousands of people running for cover. Bluesfest said there were no serious injuries.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Leon Switzer)
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OTTAWA (AP) — The main stage at Ottawa Bluesfest collapsed Sunday night during a Cheap Trick concert as a severe thunderstorm sent the band members and thousands of fans running for cover.

Bluesfest official Joe Reilly said one person suffered a broken leg, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The members of Cheap Trick were performing at the time, but they got off the stage safely. Witnesses said the band members were thrown off their feet.

"Everyone is okay and we are so lucky to be alive and hope that all the fans are okay too," the band, best known for hits including "Surrender", "I Want You to Want Me" and "The Flame", said in a message posted on Facebook.

Video of the Bluesfest site posted on YouTube within minutes of the storm's passing showed a stage that had crumpled and collapsed over electronic equipment. Twisted shards of metal jutted out from the stage, which stood several stories tall before it was destroyed.

Environment Canada had a thunderstorm warning in effect for Ottawa, saying winds were expected to reach 56 mph (90 kph).

Bluesfest is one of North America's main musical events. The festival first took place in 1994 and has since grown from a one-stage, three-day event to a multi-staged, 12-day music showcase featuring some of the best international talent.

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