(WTNH) The victims killed in a circus tent collapse in New Hampshire Monday night have been identified as a father and daughter. The news comes as suspicion for fault in the accident is falling on the operator of the circus.
41-year-old Robert Young of Concord, Vermont died, along with his 8-year-old daughter, Annabelle. Both were killed by blunt force trauma when high winds collapsed the tent, sending metal poles flying out of the ground and into the bleachers.
Investigators say they don’t know why circus operators put on the show in the town of Lancaster, even though the National Weather Service had issued a severe-thunderstorm warning for the area just minutes earlier. About a hundred people were inside the tent when the storm hit. More than 30-other people were injured in the collapse, and taken to area hospitals.
The local fire marshal says it’s the responsibility of the circus operator, in this case Walker International Events, to keep an eye out for possible severe weather. He says the Florida-based company is cooperating in the investigation. The president of the company has had a history of violations, fines, and suspensions, many related to animal abuse. Local authorities also say state law requires a license to hold an event in a tent with more than 50-people in attendance, but one wasn’t sought by the operator.