With the deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair fresh in their minds, Kansas State Fair officials will gather with authorities this week to review how to keep such a tragedy from happening in Hutchinson.
General manager Denny Stoecklein said the meeting will include representatives from the Kansas Highway Patrol and Reno County Emergency Management.
"This most certainly is going to be talked about," Stoecklein said. "How do we better monitor the weather and better our knowledge of how to handle these things?"
Six people died and dozens were injured when the stage collapsed moments before a concert by the country band Sugarland was scheduled to begin on Aug. 13.
"It certainly gives you pause," Stoecklein said of the stage collapse.
Despite being warned of the approaching storm a half-hour before it arrived, fair officials didn't decide to delay the show until it was too late to alert the crowd to seek shelter, said Mike Smith, president of WeatherData, the Wichita-based private forecasting branch of AccuWeather.
A television meteorologist at the fairgrounds and the National Weather Service had told officials of the severe thunderstorm, which by definition means winds of at least 58 miles an hour or hail at least an inch in diameter.
"It is very interesting to me that you had the meteorologist telling them to call it off, you had a severe thunderstorm warning 10 minutes before the collapse, yet there was no clear evacuation order," Smith said.
While he is confident in the protocols now in place for shows at the Kansas State Fair, Stoecklein said he welcomes the review.
"It's a case of, 'Let's look at this again. Is there anything we can be doing better?' " he said.
Read more of this story at Kansas.com