Man killed and 20 injured at Spanish festival as strong wind causes stage collapse

Heavy winds on the coast of a popular resort town called Cullera, near Valencia, brought down part of a stage at the Medusa Festival. The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning, August 13.

The gusts of wind forced partygoers at the festival to evacuate the site in the early hours of this morning, but not before part of a stage fell.

The debris killed one person and injured around 20 others.

Organisers of the electronic dance festival, which iconic DJ David Guetta was due to headline at today, confirmed they are suspending the event for the time being “with the aim of guaranteeing the security of spectators, staff and performers”.

They said in a statement: “Due to the inclement weather that occurred during the early hours of August 13 and with the aim of guaranteeing the safety of those attending as well as workers and artists gathered for the Medusa Festival, the festival organisers are suspending its activity for the time being.

A spokesperson for a regional government-run emergency response coordination centre said in a first initial statement on the incident: “At 4.18am this morning part of the stage at the Medusa Festival in Cullera collapsed because of a strong gust of wind.

“Several emergency response vehicles were sent to the scene. One person has died, three people have suffered serious multiple injuries and 14 have suffered slight injuries.

“The casualties have been taken to several hospitals.”

The region was expecting severe weather over the weekend, with weather agency AEMET tweeting today: “Be very careful today. As well as extreme heat there may be violent weather phenomena with very strong gusts of wind and heat bursts like the one earlier.”

It added: “Most of the three provinces that make up the Valencian Autonomous Region have experienced their hottest nights in recent history.”

Footage shared on social media of the incident this morning showed festivalgoers trying to protect themselves from a sandstorm that engulfed the festival, as well as police attending to injured people lying on the ground.

Spaniards took to Twitter to express their shock at the tragedy, with some claiming it could have been avoided.

Lourdes Blázquez wrote: “In Alicante hours before there were strong gusts of wind and rising temperatures, which people said were going to reach Valencia…Could it not have been avoided?”

User @shimamotto added: “Could they not have foreseen this and cancelled the event? They had been warned.”

Additional reporting by Natalia Penza.

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