Some minutes before a Morbid Angel show at Apollo Theater, in Belvidere, Illinois, on March 31th, the venue roof collapsed! One person was killed and 28 were injured and hospitalised. According to the Belvidere Police Department, 260 people were in the venue when the collapse occurred as a heavy storm rolled through the area.
When police arrived at the venue, the policemen found as “chaos, absolute chaos”.
One person who was inside the theater when the collapse happened told Rockford Scanner: “It was in between sets. The first band had just played. People were going outside to smoke. And then all the people came running back in, ’cause the rain started coming down real heavy. Then all of a sudden the door that they came out of was swinging back and forth, slamming super hard. All the power went out in the building and the entire ceiling collapsed on everybody in the front area — right at the stage, on the stage, the people behind the stage; that sector of the building. When it came down, it blew me out towards the exit door. I crawled out a hole through the door and I escaped without a scratch; I don’t know how I did. But there’s definitely casualties and 50, about a hundred wounded — severely. It’s horrible”.
Morbid Angel, who were on their 2023 U.S. tour, featuring support acts Crypta, Skeletal Remains and Revocation, wrote on Facebook that the live show was being canceled “due to a tornado that hit the Venue, and caused the roof, over the area in-front of the stage , and marquee to collapse. We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe,” the band added. “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”.
The death metal masters postponed their concert of April the 1st, in Joliet, Illinois, and released the following statement via social media: “On behalf of MORBID ANGEL, we want to first and foremost send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the individual who tragically lost their life last night in the venue roof collapse due to heavy winds from a Tornado. “We lost a brother in Metal last night, and many were hurt and injured in this tragedy. We would like to express how truly thankful we are for those in attendance (Fans, Venue Staff, Bands and Crew) that assisted with getting people out and to safety. We want to thank the First responders (Fire, EMT, Police) that were on the scene quickly and were able to help in getting people out of the venue and to hospitals for treatment as quickly as possible. YOU ARE TRUE HEROES! “At this time our minds continue to remain with all those who were injured and hospitalized, as well as everyone who was effected by the storms in the surrounding area. We truly hope for a fast recovery of all who were injured. “As a result of the events of last night, we are working to re-scheduling tonight’s show in Joliet, IL to Wednesday April 5th. With that said, our focus remains with the Victims of this terrible storm.”
Officials announced that one 50-year-old man was killed in the collapse.
news source: www.blabbermouth.net, Rockford Scanner