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One dead, dozens injured after theater roof collapses in Illinois

At least one person was killed and dozens injured when the roof of a theater collapsed in Belvidere, Illinois, amid strong winds Friday night. Large storm system which has hit multiple states.

video from CBS Chicago Debris was seen lying in the road outside the Apollo Theatre, with the fire service and ambulance at the scene. Cell phone video captures the damage from inside the structure.

The Belvidere Fire Department said one person died and 28 were injured in the building collapse. Five of them were considered critical and 18 were considered moderate, the fire department said.

There were 260 people in the building at the time of the collapse, the fire department said, adding that as of late Friday night, no one was missing.

Belvidere Theater Fall

Where the roof of the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois collapsed during a powerful storm that hit the area. March 31, 2023.

CBS Chicago

Belvidere Fire Department Chief Sean Shadle said first responders also rescued one person from an elevator and had to contend with power lines outside the theater.

Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody described the scene after the collapse as “chaos, total chaos.”

Bands Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains were performing a concert at the venue on Friday night, according to the Apollo’s website. It is unclear which band was playing during the fall. Morbid Angel later posted on its Facebook page that the show was canceled “due to a tornado that hit the venue.”

“My administration is closely monitoring the roof collapse tonight at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker tweeted.

Belvidere is located about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.

The giant storm system that tore through the South and Midwest on Friday spawned a tornado in Arkansas that killed at least two people.

There were more confirmed twisters in Iowa and wind-whipped grass fires burning in Oklahoma, as the storm system threatened a sprawling nation home to about 85 million people.

The devastating weather came as President Biden visited Mississippi a week ago after a deadly tornado struck and promised the government would help the area recover.

The Little Rock tornado first tore through neighborhoods on the west side of the city and destroyed a small shopping center that included a Kroger grocery store. It then crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock and surrounding towns, where extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles was reported.

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