Sudden Storm Cell Wrecks Sports Party in Seconds
A SUDDEN WIND BURST IN ST. LOUIS, Missouri, Saturday evening tore down a large tent being used to host a beer party near the city's baseball stadium. There were between 150 and 200 patrons of Kilroy's Sports Bar inside the tent when the destructive winds of a thunder and lightning storm cell swept through the city center around 3:50 pm. The tent was set up as a beer garden behind Kilroy's at 720 South Seventh Street. The storm wrecked the tent and blew it onto a railroad trestle next door.
"I thought a train fell off the track," Art Randall, owner of Kilroy's told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We all ducked for cover. Everything was going sideways. I had metal chairs ripping across the beer garden." Witnesses said the incident lasted only seconds. They said a sudden gust lifted the tent up, sending metal poles flying. Patrons rushed to help each other, Randall said, including one man who administered CPR to another who had suffered a head wound.
"People were pushing and shoving," said Christy Eilermann, 42, of St. Louis. "The wind just picked up, and they started dragging people inside." The DJ operating the music machine was struck in the head by a flying woofer and was knocked unconscious.
The Associated Press prepared this video report that includes an informative interview with Art Randall, the bar's owner:
One man died immediately, possibly from a heart attack, and more than 100 people suffered injuries ranging from mild to at least five critically injured. Most of the people were treated on the scene by Fire & Rescue personnel with about 17 being transported.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Witnesses say more than two-hundred people, many who had attended the Cardinals baseball game at the nearby Busch Stadium, were packed into the large tent at Kilroy’s Sports Bar listening to music when the winds hit.
One witness told News 4's Mark Schnyder the music in the tent was so loud that no one heard the storm coming. When the tent ripped from its moorings tent poles were sent flying wildly through the crowd hitting many people in the head.
Several area fire departments assisted St. Louis FD, including Shrewsbury, Clayton and Richmond Heights, including 11 medic units.
RadioMan 911 has the dispatch and radio traffic posted:
(Note: Patience, the initial dispatch goes out at the 4:55 point in the tape. Impressive dispatch of 11 truck companies on the first.)
* * * * * * *