Survivors of Last Friday’s Roof Collapse During a Morbid Angel Show Recount The Incident
A handful of survivors who were injured in last Friday’s tragic roof collapse at The Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Illinois recently spoke with local TV news crews to share their experience.
Local affiliate ABC 7 Chicago spoke with Dylan Crone, Paul Rojas, and Victoria Bella were among the roughly 260 people in attendance that night. What binds them together today was the fact that they were standing in the exact area where the roof collapsed, trapping concertgoers under rubble. When the dust settled, 28 were taken to the hospital by paramedics, 48 sought treatment on their own, and one family received devastating news that their loved one, Fred Livingston, Jr., didn’t make it.
Rojas, who was apparently standing near Livingston Jr. at the moment the roof collapsed, said he remembers exactly what he felt when a tornado hit, causing rubble to fall onto him and his fellow concertgoers.
“I feel the whole, heavy things in my body, my legs, my head. When you realize days after, and see that, man, he was next to me.”
While speaking in his hospital bed with wounds still very visible on his face, Crone said the initial moments were filled with panic, but he felt he was going to be okay once he realized he was able to cry out for help.
“I don’t even know how I made it out. As soon as I felt pain and started yelling for help, I said there was still a chance that I can make it through this. I was in front left center of the stage, so right where the main part of the building fell, I was right there. It just immediately crashed on me, and I was out like a light.”
Bella said she was standing in the front row when everything started coming down.
“I remember going to turn to run away and something hit me in the head, and the next thing I knew I was unconscious. And, the last thing I remember was a paramedic scooping me up and taking me to an ambulance.”
According to Belvidere officials, the tornado that struck hit the area just minutes after the National Weather Service warned them of potential danger. Though the show was reportedly sold out, the venue was not filled to capacity at the time of the incident, with the theater being able to hold up to 1,500 people in its walls.
The show was one of the stops on Morbid Angel’s current tour, featuring Crypta, Skeletal Remains, and Revocation. None of the performers were injured in the incident.
In the wake of the tragedy, some people have begun collecting donations through GoFundMe.