12 injured–3 seriously–in ‘freak’ tent collapse accident in Blount County

HAYDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — 12 people were injured, including three with injuries to their head and back that are considered serious–at an annual dinner Thursday evening with shareholders with Traditions Bank at Traditions Park in Blount County.

Around 7:30 p.m., a pop up storm in the area knocked the tent and nearby power poles down while around 400 people were attending the event.

12 were injured–six people were transported by ambulance, six went in their own car. Three have injuries considered serious to their head and back, but none are life threatening, the West Blount Fire Chief JJ Ivey told CBS 42’s Hillary Simon. 

It was still storming when first responders arrived on the hectic scene–people were hiding in cars or under tables, trying to stay safe. Live wires from the power poles that had been knocked down were on the ground.

The fire chief says he was initially concerned about fatalities, and said initial calls to dispatch in the wake of the incident reported about 100 injuries, though the actual number of injuries was later determined to be 12. He called this a freak accident.

“We had a lot of lightning and a lot of rain…a lot of electricity on the ground, so we were just trying to get people out of here as soon as possible,” Ivey recalled. 

At this time, it’s unknown if there will be any type of investigation into the incident. CBS 42 will continue to follow and update this developing story.

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