The roof of an Illinois concert venue collapsed in a heavy storm last night (March 31), killing an attendee of a metal show that was due to be headlined by Morbid Angel, The New York Times reports. Firefighters arrived at Belvidere’s Apollo Theater around 7:30 p.m., scrambling through the wreckage to save the dozens hurt when the roof caved in after an early set by Brazilian death metal band Crypta. There were 260 people in the venue at the time of the collapse, 28 of whom were hospitalized, five with critical injuries.
The venue’s front awning also collapsed, and an electrical fire had broken out behind the venue. Emergency workers also responded to gas leaks and an elevator rescue in the area at around the same time, The Times reports. Fatal storms swept the Midwest and South throughout the night, with large swaths of the regions on tornado watch. It is not yet clear whether the Apollo was struck by a tornado or a severe storm, according to the National Weather Service. None of the bands on the bill have reported injuries within their ranks.
Afterwards, Morbid Angel shared a statement on Instagram and noted the postponement of tonight’s (April 1) show. “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,” they wrote. “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!”