At least one person was killed and 28 others were injured when a roof collapse occurred during a concert at Belvidere's Apollo Theatre as severe storms ripped through the community late Friday, according to authorities.
Five people were seriously injured, while 18 had moderate injuries and five others were taken to the hospital with minor injuries following the roof collapse at the venue, 104 N. State St., according to Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle. A tornado warning had been issued for the area at around 7:45 p.m. CT, 10 minutes before the collapse occurred, authorities said.
Schadle described the rescue effort as a large response consisting of numerous police, fire and emergency medical services agencies, as well as bystanders who immediately stepped in to help the wounded.
Both the theatre and a building across the street sustained severe wind damage and underwent "primary searches" by first responders. Additional, more thorough searches were underway in both buildings late Friday.
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NBC 5 talked to one witness who said, once the collapse happened, he immediately went to help those trapped in the rubble.
"Everybody tried to like leave the whole venue through the fire door," he said." It was a lot of chaos, so I looked around and saw people in the rubble, and tried to help as many people as possible."
Taina Bergamaschi, a musician with the band "Crypta," which performed at the venue, posted on Instagram following the collapse, saying "We are safe and sound... Tornado hit the venue, we lost our RV, but are ok."
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Bergamaschi said the band is planning to release additional information.