At least one person was killed and several dozen people hurt when the roof of a theater in Belvidere, Illinois, collapsed Friday night amid powerful winds, part of a massive storm system that hit multiple states.
Video from CBS Chicago showed debris lying in the street outside the Apollo Theatre, with firefighters and ambulances on scene. Cell phone video captured the damage from inside the structure.
The Belvidere Fire Department reported that one person died and 28 were injured in the building collapse. Five of those injuries were considered severe and 18 were moderate, the fire department said.
There were 260 people in the building at the time of the collapse, the fire department reported, adding that as of late Friday night, no one was unaccounted for.
Belvidere Fire Department Chief Shawn Schadle said first responders also rescued someone from an elevator and had to grapple with downed power lines outside the theater.
Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody described the scene after the collapse as “chaos, absolute chaos.”
The bands Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains were holding a concert at the venue Friday night, according to Apollo’s website. It’s unclear which of the bands were playing when the collapse occurred. Morbid Angel later posted on its Facebook page that the show was canceled “due to a tornado that hit the venue.”
“My administration is closely monitoring the roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere tonight,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted.
Belvidere is located about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.
The monster storm system which tore through the South and Midwest on Friday spawned a tornado in Arkansas which left at least two people dead.
There were more confirmed twisters in Iowa and wind-whipped grass fires blazed in Oklahoma, as the storm system threatened a broad swath of the country home to some 85 million people.
The destructive weather came as President Biden toured the aftermath of a deadly tornado that struck in Mississippi one week ago and promised the government would help the area recover.
The Little Rock tornado tore first through neighborhoods in the western part of the city and shredded a small shopping center that included a Kroger grocery store. It then crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock and surrounding cities, where widespread damage was reported to homes, businesses and vehicles.