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On Saturday, 1 August 2009, a stage collapse at the Canadian Big Valley Jamboree festival in Cambrose, Alberta, killing 35-year-old Donna Moore, a resident of Lloydminster who was attending the festival. Four other festival goers were hospitalized with critical injuries. 75 suffered non-serious injuries.


Big Valley Jamboree


The Big Valley Jamboree is an annual country music festival that takes place in Camrose, Alberta, Canada. The festival lasts for four days and an average of 25,000 people attend each year.


Stage And Its Collapse


The stage in question belonged to Premier Global Productions, and was transported from one venue to another in sections via three semi trailers.


The stage collapsed just before 6:00 pm local time. While investigations remain ongoing, the stage is believed to have succumbed to a meteorological phenomenon called "plough wind," which produces winds similar to a tornado. A plough wind travels in narrow, straight paths instead of in circular formations, but the damage it can cause is similar to that of a tornado. This particular plough wind hit the stage at speeds exceeding 100 km/h (62 mph).


One person, 35 year old Lloydminster resident Donna Moore, was killed. Four were hospitalized in critical condition. A further 75 sustained less serious injuries.


Ongoing Investigations


Chris Chodan, a spokesperson for Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, admits that the cause of the stage collapse may be difficult to determine definitively. Evidence was damaged by the wind and by rescue workers, who had to move much of it in order to reach the nearly eighty victims trapped beneath the collapsed stage.


As for the actual cause of the stage collapse, Chodan said, "We may not be able to make that determination." However, authorities suspect that plough winds may be responsible for the disaster.


Alberta Municipal Affairs has initiated an investigation into the engineering specifications of stage and emergency procedures. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is investigating building codes.





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