BELVIDERE, Ill. – A sold-out concert at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Illinois turned deadly on Friday night, when the roof collapsed, killing a 50-year-old concert attendee and injuring more than 40 others. The number of injured was previously announced as 28, but officials have since updated it to more than 40.
Officials confirmed the sold out show had around 260 people inside at the time of the incident, which occurred as severe storms raced through the area.
Those storms caused the theater’s marquee and facade to crash onto State Street, littering the area with bricks and debris. First responders arrived within two minutes, since the fire station is located across the street. Officials believe fellow concert-goers tried to save the man who died by pulling him from debris that landed on him.
The concert was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and was featuring metal bands Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains. It is unclear if those inside did not hear tornado sirens due to loud music, or if the roof caved in or was torn off.
During a Saturday morning press conference, Belvidere officials said they believe a tornado may have touched down in the area. Governor JB Pritzker tweeted that his administration is closely monitoring the situation and is in touch with local officials.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Rescue Team was performing a second, more thorough search and was working to stabilize the building. It is still unclear when the Apollo Theatre will be operational again.
The tragedy has rocked the community, with many expressing their condolences and wishing a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
Revocation, who was scheduled to play Friday’s concert, posted an update to Instagram late last night, adding everyone in the bad was safe.
“A tornado hit the venue tonight and the roof collapsed. ER crews are still attending to the injured and assessing the situation.
Everyone in the bands and crew are safe. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this disaster.”