Father, Daughter Killed in N.H. Circus Tent Collapse

The storm, packing 60 mile-an-hour gusts and hail, blew through around 5:30 p.m. Monday, just as the first of two scheduled shows was beginning. Thirty-two people were treated at four area hospitals.

New Hampshire officials say the two people who were killed when a circus tent collapsed during a storm were a father and daughter and a severe thunderstorm warning was issued before the show.

Their names have not been released pending notification of kin. Gov. Maggie Hassan said authorities are still getting information as to how many people have been hurt in the collapse Monday.

But Fire Marshal William Degnan said 32 people were treated at four area hospitals, some with serious injuries. 

There were 100 people inside the tent when it collapsed, he said.

Authorities also are looking at how the tent was put up at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, about 90 miles north of the capital of Concord. They also were talking to survivors and witnesses.

Degnan said it was the first time his agency had investigated a tent collapse. He said a fire code assessment will be conducted.

The storm, packing 60-mph wind gusts and one-inch hail, blew through around 5:30 p.m. Monday, just as the first of two scheduled shows was beginning.

Degnan said the show went on for 15 minutes after the severe storm warning was issued. He said no state or local officials were involved with the setup, and that no request was made for an inspection. He said he didn't know if local officials knew or should have known the show was taking place. He said the show would have required a "place of assembly permit," but to the best of his knowledge, one was not sought.

Degnan said Tuesday it is the responsibility of the show to monitor weather conditions. He said he had heard from Florida-based Walker, but that they were "waiting for counsel."

Degnan said there are no indications that charges will be filed.

Circus shows scheduled for Tuesday have been canceled. 

Stay with necn and www.necn.com as this story develops.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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