A tragic incident occurred on Friday night at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois, when the venue’s roof collapsed during a concert.
At least one person died as a result, and 28 others sustained injuries, some of them severe. The collapse happened about an hour into a 7 p.m. show, featuring metal bands Morbid Angel, Revocation, and Skeletal Remains.
An intense storm system swept through the area, causing the Apollo Theater’s roof and front awning to collapse on approximately 260 attendees. First responders arrived quickly to the scene, working to rescue victims trapped under the rubble. Local officials reported that 28 people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, with five suffering from severe injuries, 18 with moderate injuries, and five with minor injuries.
The theater, located 14 miles outside of Rockford, was reached by at least 20 ambulances. Social media footage captured the aftermath, showing a massive hole in the venue’s roof and concertgoers attempting to free those trapped under debris. Morbid Angel suggested that a possible tornado had struck the building.
In a Facebook post, Morbid Angel urged anyone still traveling to the venue to seek shelter and stay safe. The band expressed their support for those affected and emphasized their focus on ensuring the safety and well-being of the concert attendees.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker stated that his administration was closely monitoring the situation and coordinating available resources.
The National Weather Service had issued severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for Belvidere, with predictions of 70 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail. The storms caused power outages for over 103,000 people in Illinois on Friday night.