Thursday, October 13, 2011

State Investigators Search Local Stagehands Union Offices

The office of the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees was searched today by the Indiana Department of Labor as part of an ongoing investigation of this summer's stage rigging collapse at the State Fair grandstand that killed seven and injured dozens more. A spokesman tells WRTV that the search warrant was carried out because the union had refused to provide information requested of it. The spokesman emphasized the investigation was not criminal in nature.

IDOL spokesman Robert Dittmer stressed that the inquiry was not criminal in nature. He said investigators sought a search warrant after requests for information were denied by the union.
"To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation into the terrible tragedy at the state fair, no further information regarding the investigation will be released until the entire report is presented publically," Dittmer said in a statement.
A State Fair contract for stage performances at the grandstand gave the local union responsibility for the set-up of the stage rigging used the night it collapsed prior to the start of a Sugarland concert. One stage hand worker working on the stage rigging the night of the collapse was among the dead. Under the contract, the union was responsible for obtaining all permits, approvals and licenses, as well as ensuring that health, safety and environmental standards were met. The contract stated, however, that the union would not be liable for injury to any person or damage to property arising out of the acts or omissions of its union workers.

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