One person was killed and dozens injured after strong winds caused a stage at a Spanish festival to collapse

CULLERA, Spain, Aug 13 (Reuters) – One person was killed and dozens injured when part of the main stage collapsed due to strong winds at a dance music festival near the Spanish city of Valencia early on Saturday, emergency services said.

Other infrastructure was also damaged by winds at Medusa Festival, a huge six-day electronic music festival in the east coast city of Cullera.

Thirty-two people were taken to the hospital and three remained there Saturday afternoon, regional health officials said.

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Organizers said they were canceling the remainder of the festival for the safety of attendees.

“We are absolutely devastated and saddened by what happened this morning,” organizers said earlier on the festival’s Facebook page, adding that the “severe” weather caused damage to various infrastructure at the festival site.

“An unexpected and strong wind destroyed parts of the festival around four in the morning, forcing management to take an immediate decision to evacuate the concert area to guarantee the safety of participants, workers and performers,” organizers said.

DJs were scheduled to play throughout the night on Friday across five stages, with French DJ David Guetta set to play on Saturday. DJ Miguel Serna was on the main stage during his 3am to 4am set when the incident happened.

“It was a tense few minutes, I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” she wrote on Instagram.

“The tragedy happened at the end of my session on the main stage, below that, which was the most affected (area). It was just a few minutes of horror, and I’m still in shock.”

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National meteorological agency AEMET reported overnight gusts of 82 km/h (51 mph) and “strong winds and a sudden rise in temperature” at Alicante airport in the Valencia region.

“Suddenly the wind blew, it was very hot, the sand all started moving and we saw the tents flying,” said a festival goer named Laura.

“People started coming from the concerts, and they told us, parts of the stage, trees were blown away, it was chaos.”

National broadcaster TVE showed images of the midnight wind blowing against tents and festival awnings as people shielded their eyes from sandstorm-like conditions.

“We are in shock because we were 30 meters away (from the stage). It could have been me, it could have been anyone,” Jesus Carradero, who was at the festival with his brother, told TVE.

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Additional reporting by Jessica Jones and Elena Rodriguez Editing by Jessica Jones Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Ross Russell and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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