BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WGN-TV) — One person was killed and 28 were injured at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois, after severe weather caused a roof collapse on Friday. The heavy metal band Morbid Angel was scheduled to perform.
Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle said in addition to the one person killed, five were taken to the hospital for severe injuries, eighteen with moderate injuries, and five with minor injuries.
Event coordinators said approximately 260 people were in the venue at the time of the collapse. Authorities said, by 10:15 p.m., no one was unaccounted for.
The Apollo Theater is located at 104 N. State St in Belvidere, which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Chicago. A line of powerful storms swept through the Midwest Friday night, downing power lines and trees throughout the region.
A concert-goer, Gabrielle Lewellyn, told Rockford’s WTVO she had only been inside the venue a few minutes before the storm hit and the roof collapsed. Multiple people were trapped under the rubble, she said.
One Twitter user posted video showing what appeared to be patrons attempting to rescue people from beneath a pile of rubble on the main floor.
Morbid Angel is a nationally touring death metal band that was founded in 1983.
Morbid Angel made a statement Friday night to its Facebook account, saying: “Tonight’s show is canceled due to a tornado that hit the venue. We ask anyone who is still traveling to the venue to please seek shelter and stay safe. We are currently sheltering in place, and want to extend our support and hope that everyone at the show tonight is safe. Right now our focus is making sure everyone in the venue tonight is ok and gets home.”
Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker tweeted: “My administration is closely monitoring the roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere tonight. I’ve been in touch with officials for updates and to direct any available resources we can. As we learn more, please follow the guidance of all local authorities.”