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‘Fluke’ wind gust collapses outdoor stage — five killed, including Chicago LGBT activist

Monday, August 15, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS — A sudden fluke windstorm that collapsed the stage Saturday evening at the Indiana State Fair, has claimed the lives of five people, including Chicago LGBT activist, Christina Santiago.

Christina Santiago (left) and her partner, Alisha Marie Brennon
Photo via: The L Stop

Santiago was the programming manager for the Lesbian Community Care Project (LCCP) at Chicago’s Howard Brown Health Center.

With a heavy, heavy heart we report that Christina Santiago was amongst those killed in the Indiana State Fair accident.

Before the band Sugarland was able to perform, strong winds knocked down the stage onto the crowd. Christina was amongst the 4 killed instantly. Her partner, Alisha Marie Brennon, a member of the Chicago Force, was also in the crowd and is currently in critical condition.

In a press statement released Sunday afternoon, Howard Brown President Jamal M. Edwards said “the sudden and devastating loss of Christina has left the entire community, including her Howard Brown Health Center family, heartbroken.”

“She has been a leading and driving force in the expansion of our women’s health services division and a powerful advocate for all LGBT women,” said Edwards.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels called the accident an “unthinkable tragedy” and said the wind burst was a “fluke” that no one could have foreseen.

Warning: the video below is disturbing:

Dozens of people — including several children — remained hospitalized Sunday, many with life-threatening injuries.

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Filed under: Indiana

29 more reader comments:

  1. It’s so sad so many GOOD people were hurt or killed.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:28am
  2. MaNi
    supports you,
    wants the best for you,
    understands you.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:28am
  3. so sad… prayers for her partner and family <3

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:35am
  4. just awful, i hope her family friends and loved ones are going to be okay.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:37am
  5. Very sad !

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:39am
  6. Let’s not just pray for her family, but ALL families involved in this tragedy.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:53am
  7. Terribly sad….

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:00am
  8. My hearts go out to all those who lost their life and their families. And may all those injured get well soon.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:01am
  9. :(

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:01am
  10. So tragic. Unfortunately, I just know that the loonies over at the Westboro Baptist chutch would be jizzing their pants over this. God, why do you take the good people and leave the crazy ones behind?

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:01am
  11. Oh my, I send my deepest sympathy and condolences to all her family and friends as well as ALL families involved in this tragedy. :-(

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:01am
  12. Why would u like this. This is so tragic. Hope every one is okay from this and my condolence to the ones who lost a loved one and my thoughts to the ones who where lost.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:12am
  13. hurts even more losing one of our own leaders, this is so very sad

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:33am
  14. So very sad and to lose one of our own even sadder when we need all the help we can get – RIP Christina – and for the others, go with God….my question is why are they playing the video for all and sundry? Give people their dignity when they die for goodness’ sake!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 5:11am
  15. shit.. dam.. so sad :(

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 5:40am
  16. What a loss!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 6:12am
  17. The Good in the world. :(

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 6:21am
  18. Very tragic. Thank you for sharing this information.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 6:58am
  19. My heart goes out to you alisha

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:15am
  20. Oh good Goddess.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:21am
  21. I live in Indiana, and this is absolutely terrible. However, they’ve been showing the stage collapse over and over again. I wish the media would let these families have their own time without it being shoved in their faces every hour. It’s hard enough as it is. My thoughts and love go out to the families of the deceased and everyone that was injured.

    Erase the hate. One love <3

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:34am
  22. is sending love and light to all of the families devastated by this tragedy and to those injured and struggling to recover.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:40am
  23. RIP. And wishes for full recovery. Tragic loss.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 9:10am
  24. I’m pretty sure people don’t like it, they just want to share it. If you click ‘Recommend’, it shows up as like, and even that is rather insensitive. All a game of semantics, the point is, people need to hear about this.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 9:30am
  25. that’s life…it ends, it begins…

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 9:45am
  26. Y did *SEVEN* ppl “like this!?!?!??!?!?!??!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:55pm
  27. my heart dropped when I saw the video. This is truly devistating. Whoever liked this has mental issues and honestly needs to be sent to a crazy hospital.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 12:52am
  28. Probably the people who “liked” it meant they “liked” the reporting of it, not the fact that it happened.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:44pm
  29. “Fluke” describes an unusual event. A wind gust from a severe thunderstorm is NOT a ‘fluke’…it is an expected occurrence. That’s why there was a Severe Thunderstorm WARNING issued for this location 10 minutes before this occurred, because this was what was EXPECTED to happen. The area around the stage should have been emptied of people by this time. It wasn’t. That isn’t a ‘fluke’. That’s a human error.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 8:40am