Circus Tent in Fatal Collapse Was Not Erected Correctly, OSHA Says

Walker International Events Inc. has been cited for crushing and electrical hazards.

According to OSHA, a circus tent collapse on Aug. 3, 2015, in Lancaster, N.H., that killed two audience members and left dozens injured, including two employees, occurred because the tent was not properly erected and the circus operator did not follow a National Weather Service storm warning. The operator, Walker International Events, failed to: use the required tent stakes, properly anchor the stakes, remove and replace damaged stakes, and disassemble and take down the tent while expected winds exceeded 60 mph, according to the agency.

"Walker International Events' failures to erect the tent correctly and heed warnings of severe weather needlessly placed at risk the lives and well-being of its employees and everyone else in and around the tent that day," said Rosemarie Ohar Cole, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "No enforcement action will bring the victims home to their families and community, but we want to send a message to this and other employers to follow proper procedures at all times and take effective and appropriate action to prevent an incident such as this from ever happening again."

OSHA cited Walker International Events for 14 serious violations of workplace safety standards. Proposed fines total $33,800.

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