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Storm hits Backstreet Boys concert venue in Oklahoma; 14 injured

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By Allen Cone, UPI

A thunderstorm blew over supports at an outdoor performance venue in Oklahoma ahead of an appearance by the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees, injuring 14 people, officials said.

Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, about 150 concertgoers were waiting in line at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville when winds estimated at 70-80 mph blew over trusses at the entrance, the company said in a statement.

Thackerville is 70 miles north of Dallas just north of the Oklahoma-Texas state line.

[post_ads]The injured were taken to local hospitals and two were released Saturday night, the resort officials said.

"We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favorite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm," the company said.

The concert was canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

In a Twitter post Sunday, Winstar said "our priority was ensuring the safety of the fans, the artists and event staff" and canceling the show "was not an easy one, knowing many fans traveled long distances for this show."

About 12,000 fans were expected to attend the concert in a venue that is east of the casino building and south of the hotel.

"Unfortunately, due to damage sustained in the storm earlier this evening, we are unable to perform the show tonight," Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson posted on Twitter. "Safety is always #1. Keep your tickets because, Backstreet WILL BE BACK!"

One half hour before the storm struck, lightning was observed about 4 miles away.

In a statement Saturday, the resort said concertgoers were warned to take cover but those still in line "did not heed staff's warnings."

"My stomach is in knots. A pavillion collapsed in front of us on people waiting in line at the @backstreetboys concert," Sydney Stavinoha posted on Twitter.

She latter posted: "What was supposed to be a happy day for @backstreetboys concert-goers, turned into tragedy. We witnessed the entire accident. I'm still in shock."

Radar estimates show a range of three-quarters of an inches up to 2 inches of rain had fallen through Saturday evening in North Texas, WTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Storm hits Backstreet Boys concert venue in Oklahoma; 14 injured
Storm hits Backstreet Boys concert venue in Oklahoma; 14 injured
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