Weather Caught Those At Oktoberfest Off Guard

Thursday, October 18th 2007, 4:45 pm
By: News On 6

The tent collapse Wednesday night at Tulsa’s Oktoberfest has a lot of people asking why wasn't the event called off and the place evacuated before the storm rolled in? The people who were here Wednesday night say the weather was fine just before and not long after a gust of wind took down two of the biggest tents on the site.

Witnesses say the tent lifted and fell, then lifted again and moved sideways, bringing down some huge support poles. Many people were hit by those support poles and the poles along the side of the tent.

The organizers say they have an evacuation plan, but didn't think the weather was going to get worse.

“We knew there was something out there but we thought it was going to bypass Tulsa or skirt around the Oktoberfest site, and what we didn't expect was this sudden microburst and that caught everyone off guard,” said Oktoberfest spokesperson Michael Sanders.

Dennis Boyle is one of the people injured last night. He had to get five staples in his scalp.

"It happened that quickly, you didn't have time to react or speculate that something like that would happen,” said Dennis Boyle, who was injured in the tent collapse.

There were several more serious injuries, including News On 6 reporter, Steve Berg, who was hit on the forehead by a pole. He required surgery today to relieve pressure on his skull because of some internal bleeding. His family is with him, and his doctors say he will be fine, but will remain in the hospital several more days.

WEB EXTRA: Extended Interview With Oktoberfest Spokesman

Watch the video: Weather Caught Those At Oktoberfest Off Guard

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10/17/2007 At Least 40 Injured In Oktoberfest Tent Collapse