01:04 - Source: KSDK
Weather blamed for tent collapse

Story highlights

NEW: The man killed is identified by police as Illinois resident Alfred Goodman, 58

The city had issued a permit for the tent; an investigation will be conducted

Wind hits sports bar tent near Busch Stadium in St. Louis

Fire officials say one person was killed, at least 16 hospitalized

CNN —  

One person was killed and 16 others hospitalized Saturday afternoon when a sports bar tent collapsed during a storm that swept through the St. Louis area, fire officials said.

The man killed was identified Sunday as Alfred Goodman, a 58-year-old from Waterloo, Illinois, according to St. Louis police spokeswoman Schron Jackson.

Five people suffered serious injuries. Nearly 100 others were treated at the scene, mostly for bruises, cuts, twisted ankles and one broken arm, officials said.

They were all among St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans celebrating their team’s victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Kilroy’s, a bar located just south of Busch Stadium that had a tent set up in the rear, according to fire Capt. Dan Sutter.

Wind gusts estimated to be about 50 miles per hour lifted the tent, according to Eddie Roth, the city’s public safety director.

While the tent had received a city permit, manufacturer guidelines called for it to withstand winds of up to 90 miles per hour, said building commissioner Frank Oswald.

Oswald said officials had not yet determined whether there was a manufacturing or installation failure. The fire marshal was to conduct an investigation into the incident.

Up to 150 fans may have been under the tent, built of aluminum poles and guy wires, when the storm struck shortly before 4 p.m. (5 p.m. ET).

“We had live wires lying on the ground. We have severe injuries to quite a few people,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. “This gives us nightmares.”

“The music was loud and people had been in attendance at the ball game all afternoon,” Deputy Fire Chief John Altmann told reporters. “I don’t think they were really aware of the seriousness of the situation.”

The tent came to rest on a railroad trestle.

The area had been under a severe thunderstorm watch, with a warning issued shortly before the incident.

“Anytime we put a lot of people in open areas and you have hazardous weather, it is a dangerous situation,” Altmann said.

Oswald said he believed the tent met manufacturer construction specifications. The city inspects such structures for fire safety and exit lights, but installation is up to the contractor. Inspectors were on site after the permit was issued earlier this month, according to Oswald.

“Like the chief said, it is important that people are aware of the weather situation,” he said. “These are temporary structures. They are certainly not designed to any stretch of the imagination to handle a severe weather event like this. Be aware of your surroundings and try to get somewhere safe.”

Video shot by KSDK showed remains of the crumpled tent and dazed patrons standing outside.

A strong thunderstorm north of the city produced golf-ball-sized and larger hail, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kramper.

A tornado warning for downtown St. Louis expired before 7 p.m.

CNN’s Greg Morrison, Jacqui Jeras and Phil Gast contributed to this report.