Ultra to kick off as scheduled despite collapse at main stage
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Final preparations for the Ultra Music Festival are underway after a major accident.
Friday afternoon, Federal inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fire marshal and structural engineers remain on the scene following the collapse of a section of an LED screen at the festival's main stage. City police and officials are still inspecting the stage at where four workers were injured when a lighting truss collapsed.
At the same time, worker Joseph Green is still recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital but is in stable condition. A second worker transported there after the accident Thursday night has been discharged, according to JMH officials. Both arrived in critical condition. Two others received minor injuries from the accident.
Though crews are still reviewing the scene of the accident, the festival's 4 p.m. start time is expected to go off as scheduled. "It's not about whether the show must go on; it's all about making sure that they don't have anybody else getting hurt," said Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll.
Byron Haaland is attending Ultra and hopes the accident does not affect the show, though he understands the concern. "I'm hoping that it doesn't because I came all the way out here from Colorado expecting a great time, great show, but, I mean, safety's number one," he said.
The mishap occurred Thursday night at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami during a stage setup. Three men were sent to Ryder Trauma Center at JMH. One was treated at the scene. "Luckily, the crew that was here, along with the paramedics that were here working were able to remove the debris and get them to the hospital as quickly as possible," said Carroll.
Two of the men who were listed in critical condition were upgraded to stable on Friday morning. However, the night of the accident, firefighters described some of their injuries as "life-threatening." Among the victims is a 32-year-old stagehand who sustained injuries on both knees, ankles and hip, as well as lacerations on his wrist. The third victim who was transported to JMH is listed in stable condition. Fire Rescue units treated the fourth worker at the scene.
The lighting truss, which contained heavy light fixtures and some large LED screens, collapsed as stage hands were hoisting it up. Rescue crews said it fell about 30 feet.
The impact injured one worker and trapped two others underneath for a few minutes. "It came down on two of them and one narrowly missed being caught by the debris, and one guy who witnessed it was pretty traumatized," said Carroll.
Officials emphasize that they expect the construction of all but the affected stage to be completed in time for the start of the festival on Friday, when Bayfront Park will become one giant dance party. "It's like the end of the world, and everybody is celebrating it," said one attendee.
Ultra Music Festival is set to take place over the next two weekends, from March 15 - 17 and March 22 - 24.
Traffic plans will go into place Friday at 9 a.m. Any vehicular traffic traveling southbound on Biscayne Boulevard will be forced to turn right on Northeast Fourth Street. Traffic will go west until Northeast Second Avenue where you will turn left and continue to go southbound on Northeast Second Avenue. All side streets are completely open to traffic, the only difference this year is that the southbound lanes of Biscayne will all be used to send vehicles northbound only.
This traffic pattern will be maintained throughout the weekend. Traffic goes back to normal on Monday at 6:00am. until the following weekend when the same traffic plan goes back into effect.
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