The reports from the engineering firm Thornton/Tomasetti and the security firm Witt & Associates will be revealed during a meeting of the Indiana State Fair Commission Thursday morning.
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At first, Governor Daniels and authorities blamed a freak gust of wind as, "An act of God." Estimates were up to 65 miles per hour. Private attorneys, representing fans injured in the collapse, said their own investigators have come up with other findings regarding the weather and the decision of the State Fair staff to not evacuate the stage in advance of the storm.
"Indications are that the weather speeds were significantly less than what were originally reported," said attorney Paul Kruse. "We consulted with some crowd control consultants. We're waiting to find out what all the facts were.
"The initial information is, although there was a pretty harsh storm approaching, that this failure occurred well in advance of the worst part of the storm."
An independent public safety consultant said he expects the twin reports to paint a picture of confusion and structural or workmanship failures.
"There were problems with the decision matrix," said Peter Beering, "and there were some decision making issues. It wouldn't surprise me if Witt & Associates find that there was some decision paralysis because of the amount and nature of stimuli that decision makers were faced with."
Beering also expects that an Indiana Department of Labor report that fined the State Fair, the stagehands union and the owner of the stage for providing an unsafe workplace may provide a preview of the engineering report.
"I think that these reports are going to look an awful lot like the IOSHA report in that they are going to identify a series of issues but they are not necessarily going to assign blame."
Release of the reports will come the same day that attorneys representing the victims will take depositions from the band Sugarland in Charleston, W. Va., about what role it played in the decision to continue on with the concert even as the storm approached. Fair Executive Director Hoye told attorneys in January that it was the band, and not the fair, that contractually had final say on whether to delay the show due to inclement weather.