BELVIDERE, Ill. (CBS) — Officials in Belvidere held a press conference early Saturday to provide an update on the events that led to the roof collapse at the Apollo Theater.
The collapse happened during a concert Friday evening as severe storms blew through with 90 mph winds.
A 50-year-old man was killed by police in the crash. Another 28 were injured, including two with life-threatening injuries, two other serious injuries, 18 with moderate injuries, and five with minor injuries.
More than 40 people were taken to local hospitals. Most injuries include orthopedic, head and neurological trauma, and soft tissue injuries, Dr. Matt Smetana said with Mercy.
No reports of anyone missing.
According to officials, the tornado touched down in Boone County – leaving a line of damage, most notably in the theater. Warning sirens sounded at 7:24 pm with a crash call reported at 7:47 pm only two wedges came down from the station. Apart from the venue, many buildings were also damaged due to the weather.
The sold-out concert started at 7 pm with death metal bands Morbid Angel, Recall and Bone Relics there were questions about the venue.
The collapse occurred about 30 minutes into the concert. The first call came in like a mass-accident crash.
About 260 people were inside the theater for the concert — including the crowd, staff and bands, Schadle said. The theater has a capacity of about 1,500.
Video from the scene shows the marquee collapsed to the ground, and a large portion of the large string truss roof.
Bricks were also seen lying in the middle of the road. Some debris near the cars on the ground.
Inside the theater, the ceiling collapsed right in front of the proscenium – leaving an open space outside with flashing lights. It was likely that the people had gathered ahead of time.
Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody described the scene when police arrived.
“Chaos, absolute chaos,” he said. “When the officers are first on the scene, when the fire department and the first responders get here, they do the best they can to control the chaos as best they can. But eventually we go in and eventually we try and find people and rescue them. We’re going to bring as many people to safety as we can, as much as possible.” we can
Illinois State Rep. Dave Vella (D-Loves Park) said he was out to dinner with his wife near Rockford and he found out about the fall and rushed to Belvidere.
“It’s just horrible what happened. The Apollo Theater is one of the heritage sites around here, and this loss is terrible,” Vella said.
Vella said the monster storm caused heavy damage in a small area.
“Rockford is only about 10 minutes away, and we don’t have much,” Vella said.
Gov. JB Pritzker says he has been in contact with officials to direct any resources available.
Social media video from Mike Winter’s testimony shows people rushing in to help after the roof and ceiling collapsed. They reported that people were still trapped hours after the collapse, but Vella said by 10 p.m., everyone had been cleared from the building.
A Chicago Fire Department source said the demand is for 20 ambulances. Multiple police and fire departments were sent to the scene with seven EMS agencies able to provide services with multiple ambulances making multiple trips.
None of the first responders were injured, Schadle said.
Vella said 100 people were at the concert, and a lot of scared family members were on stage late Friday.
“This was a huge storm that hit this area, and I’m telling you, we hit a lot of the community hard financially,” Vella said. “Not a big deal this time.”
CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman spoke with a high school student who rushed to the scene to help. He grew up in Belvidere, and spoke with a father whose 19-year-old son was wounded.
“I witnessed when you first arrived what people did to me on the stretch in front of the Apollo Theater,” said Jayden Gallagly. “They looked like they were trying to get an ambulance; the EMTs.”
Schadle said the MABAS 8 Technical Rescue Team remained on scene as of 10 p.m., both conducting secondary searches and working to stabilize the building.
Those with family and friends in the area looking for people who attended the concert should go to the fire station.
The public street is still closed and barricaded to remove the underground debris. The theater and buildings located across from it were condemned for damage.
Belvidere is located in Boone County about 72 miles from Chicago.
Apollo is located at 104 N. State St. at the north end of the Belvidere Business District.
According to Cinema Treasures, the Apollo Theater opened in 1921 as a stage play, movie, and vaudeville venue. Live music has graced the Apollo AC Theater for several years now.
It was said that the once vacant building had not been renovated for too many years.