One person has died and at least 28 others have been hospitalized after the “full roof collapse” at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois. The show was meant to be headlined by Morbid Angel. The roof caved in after an early set by Brazilian death metal band Crypta. As the New York Times reports, after Crypta’s set, the Apollo announced on Friday night that the show would have to be paused for a half-hour due to “dangerous weather” outside. Soon after, the roof collapsed.
The building’s front awning also collapsed, according to the Times, and emergency workers responded to an electrical fire behind the venue, plus gas leaks and an elevator rescue. According to the National Weather Service, a storm system last night caused tornados that killed at least nine people in Arkansas, Indiana, and Mississippi, and left at least 30 people injured in Little Rock. Illinois was one of several states across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast where residents had been warned of high wind as Friday turned into Saturday.
Still, it was not immediately clear if the Apollo’s roof collapse was due to a tornado or generally bad weather. The National Weather Service said the venue had suffered “possible tornado damage.”
In addition to Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains had been due to perform. Crypta wrote on Instagram that all of the touring bands were safe. Morbid Angel said in a Facebook post that its members were still sheltering in place at the venue. “Right now our focus is on making sure everyone in the venue tonight is OK and gets home,” the band said.