Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pay Dirt: Starfield Concert Goes to Hell


Floor collapsed 'like an elevator' at B.C. church during concert: witnesses
By James Keller, THE CANADIAN PRESS

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Witnesses say excited rock fans were urged to stop jumping up and down in a B.C. church before a large section of the floor collapsed and the lighting system fell from the ceiling.

More than 40 people were injured at a concert at Abbotsford's Central Heights Church Friday night when the floor gave way.


The collapse people in the crowd falling several metres into the basement below.
Two people were transferred to hospital in Vancouver, and at least one of them is reported to have suffered critical injuries.

Seventeen-year-old Felicia Daase says she was farther back from the stage than the area that collapsed.

She says the band was telling fans who were jumping to the music to stop just before it happened.


Daase says the floor collapsed "like an elevator," landing in the basement, and a few seconds later a large lighting and speaker system fell from the ceiling and landed on audience members.
Rob Neiman, a 42-year-old from Abbotsford who was also at the concert, says after it happened he looked down into the hole and saw bodies laying on the floor and dozens of people scrambling among the wreckage.

Fraser Health spokesman David Plug says the injured arrived either on their own or by ambulance at four area hospitals.

All were treated and discharged except for two who were sent to Vancouver General Hospital for more specialized care, he says.

The condition of the two people transported to Vancouver was unavailable.

Police said about 1,000 youths were at the church when a large area in front of the stage gave way, sending people in the crowd falling several metres into the basement below.

Head pastor Chris Douglas told Vancouver radio station CKNW that the hall can hold up to 1,500 people.

He says plans for Sunday services were proceeding as usual.

Most of the patients treated in hospital suffered minor injuries.

Const. Casey Vinet of the Abbotsford police said every available officer responded, as did some from neighbouring communities.

When they arrived at the scene, they saw a hole in the floor about seven metres wide.

"It was very busy, certainly as word got out parents, friends and others attended the area as well," he said

One witness says people were walking away with "blood all over."

When news of the collapse first reached local health officials, they were told to expect mass casualties, but the actual number of injured was far lower than feared.

Plug said the hospitals were able to cope with the load.

"Some staff heard about it on the radio and came in to help and they've now been sent home," Plug said. "The waiting room is pretty empty."

All available Abbotsford police, local RCMP and ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene, Vinet said.

Vinet said detectives will now try to determine what caused the collapse.

"We've also called out forensic identification services, who will look at examining the scene, look at producing a diagram, taking photos and that sort of thing," he said.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

the band did not tell us to stop jumping before it happened!

Anonymous said...

No, the only thing Tim yelled was "whoa whoa whoa" as he saw everything start to happen.

Jamie said...

If you weren't there, what do you know? I heard a "whoa, watch out" from someone at the front, and then the speakers and floor collapsed simultaneously.

Anonymous said...

Tim yelled "everybody stop" as the beam fell.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the title of this article: Starfield Cocnert Goes To Hell. That's horrible.

a small look into a life said...

i agree.. to say goes to hell is pretty dumb! i also was at that concert and i remember Tim yelling STOOP!!! but it was all unfolding within seconds that ppl prolly dind't hear him, or hear anything! who knows what all exaclty happened anyways, the most important thing is that ppl did not get killed and everyone survived! we can only continue praying for the ones that have been injured!

Anonymous said...

i didnt hear anyone say stop, but i agree the most important thing is that no one got killed.

Anonymous said...

Intersting that the pastor of the church said it was a miracle no one died (I am glad they didn't). But don't you think the miracle would have been better if "God" had told the band that the floor was about to collapse if everyone didn't stop jumping? Now that would have been the REAL MIRACLE!

Anonymous said...

Well said to the last anonymous. It's interesting that there is always a "miracle" slant that can be put on most situations...even if there is death involved.

Anonymous said...

If the fans had stopped dancing the floor still would have collapsed! My family went down with the pews. The floor was too damaged before the collapse. A halt to the enjoyment would not have resulted in a miracle. The miracle was that no one died, that the emergency response was excellent, and that we, as Christians, know to pray when something bad happens. It was too late to save what had been done to the floor. God protected us and we have nothing but gratitude and more faith in His power.

Anonymous said...

What happened was horrible, but not "hell". That's sick. I am pretty sure that your concept of hell needs adjusting.

Anonymous said...

I'd challenge you who believe the dancing should have stopped to try to do that at one of your own concerts and be able to read the future regarding possible floor collapses at the same time!

cipriano said...

The amazing thing is that immediately afterwards, a man known only as SAMSON was seen running from the premises, yelling into the night... "I pulled down the pillars, I pulled down the pillars!"

Anonymous said...

Hey, cipriano, what on earth are you talking about?!! What does the Samson story have to do with the floor cave-in at the Starfield concert?

Cold Molasses said...

In response to anonymous' comment that "What happened was horrible, but not "hell". That's sick. I am pretty sure that your concept of hell needs adjusting."

I invite you to read other entries in my blog to get a sense for what I believe and don't believe. If you'd like to start with hell...go for it. Here's the entry on that topic:

http://prospectinggod.blogspot.com/2006/10/revisiting-sin-salvation-and-afterlife.html

P.S. Cipriano - VERY funny! Or maybe there was a faint sound of horns being blown just before things started to collapse!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..."The miracle was that no one died, that the emergency response was excellent, and that we, as Christians, know to pray when something bad happens. It was too late to save what had been done to the floor. God protected us and we have nothing but gratitude and more faith in His power."

Hmmm...once again, if God really intervenes in life, wouldn't you think he would have miracled just a little earlier in the process??? We need to recognize that while there is likely a God, he/she/it doesn't intervene in life events. If he does, we should be concerned about what kind of God he/she/it is, given many of the things that take place in this world.

No miracles people...just life happening. Feel free to spew forth the "God protected us" stuff, but if 2 (or 10) people have died, you would still have been on here saying it was a miracle no more had died. And by the way, excellent emergency response is as a result of the taxes we pay and the efforts of our rescue operations folks.

Cold Molasses said...

I offer this for your reading pleasure...

"People do learn to cope with tragedy. People who lose their eyesight develop new levels of compensatory sensory and intuitive awareness. A paraplegic's heroic struggles do inspire others to greater efforts that affect the quality of many people's lives. People do die nobly or bear grief creatively and thus help many to find a deeper way to live and a new commitment to use the time in life available to them in a more dedicated, less self-centered manner. But can any of us honestly argue that these benefits are the divine reasons that such tragic events occur? Is there a divine plan worked out by a theistic God who has the whole world in the divine hands and who pulls this string here and that string there but who is clearly always in full control? Is it only that the total picture of this God is never fully revealed, so mortals must trust God's ultimate benevolence and learn to "walk by faith" - faith that there is such a plan and faith that God really is like that which we have constructed God to be? Or is such faith nothing more than delusional theistic thinking, so false that it needs to be dismissed?

If yes, what does prayer mean? The assumptions that underlie prayer is that we can petition and intercess with a deity, that the deity is external to this world, and that the deity can intervene to assist the one praying in a personal crisis or a crisis in the life of his or her society. As such, prayer is a direct descendant of the behaviour of those first self-conscious ancestors of our humanity. Traumatized at the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, those ancestors met their anxiety by postulating the existance of a protector more powerful than the forces that treatened them. Prayer began as, and continues to be, a primary attempt to exercise control in those arenas of life where we sense ourselves to be out of control, ineffective, weak, victimized. That explanation is not adequate...theism in that sense is dead.

Sickness and tragedy are not punishments; they are facts of life. Viruses attach. Wars kill. Tumors are formed. Leukemia strikes. Blood vessels wear out and rupture. Innocent people are killed by drunk drivers and by psychotic people acting out a drama that makes sense only within their sick minds. Accidents occur. Alcohol distorts. Children are killed playing with guns.

These are the facts of existence. There is no theistic God directing these processes of cause and effect to whom we can appeal. There is no divine plan that we must either seek to know or await its unfolding patiently. That is neither the way life is nor the way God is. Today, that theistic system is dying the slow death of irrelevence. Like all security blankets, theism may make us better able to pretend that we are competent to cope with life. But when the crisis comes, theism and security blankets both prove inadequate to deliver what they so loudly promise."

- Bishop John Shelby Spong (from his book "A New Christianity for a New World"

cipriano said...

I agree with the LAST anonymous's comments..... and I repeat, the LAST [most previously submitted] anonymous's comments..... if God is an intervening God [I mean no disrespect, I am a former pastor, and used to believe in Him as such] don't you [the FORMER anonymous responder] think an even greater [and more overall beneficial] "miracle" would have been for Him to prevent the floor from collapsing in the first place? Instead of sort of being surprised at the collapse, and then rushing in at the last minute to save people from actually being killed, in effect, ALLOWING for them to be severely injured?

Perhaps time to give thy head a shake?
Wake up and smell the frankincense, as it were?

Anonymous said...

to anonymous who said.. "Hmmm...once again, if God really intervenes in life, wouldn't you think he would have miracled just a little earlier in the process??? We need to recognize that while there is likely a God, he/she/it doesn't intervene in life events. If he does, we should be concerned about what kind of God he/she/it is, given many of the things that take place in this world.

No miracles people...just life happening. Feel free to spew forth the "God protected us" stuff, but if 2 (or 10) people have died, you would still have been on here saying it was a miracle no more had died. And by the way, excellent emergency response is as a result of the taxes we pay and the efforts of our rescue operations folks."


well first of all if the floor hadn't collapsed how would you know a miracle had taken place? think about that... I'm not saying it was God's plan to let the floor collapse and then keep everyone from dying so that people could see that it was a miracle...

but what I do know as someone who seeks to know and understand God, God is good and this occurence shows that he indeed does protect His people...
there are things that happened which are inexplicable... and we humans don't have the answers to and quite frankly may most likely never... God only knows... but I can rest in the fact that my God is good and I'm with Him... he is with me and there is so much comfort in knowing that!

Ah ha and yes, one thing I will agree with you is that it is a natural occurence the fact that the floor collapsed couldn't be predicted but now when investigated seems plausible...
and inispite of that.. God DID INTERVENE and protected us and kept us from dying... yes it would have been amazing if no one got hurt blah blah blah whatever... but who knows... can you challenege yourself to just believe that maybe indeed there was someone looking after them?

just a few thoughts....

peace,
anonymous

Anonymous said...

Last post said: "well first of all if the floor hadn't collapsed how would you know a miracle had taken place? can you challenege yourself to just believe that maybe indeed there was someone looking after them?"

Oh boy...where do you start with a post like that? Listen, don't get me wrong. Believe what you want or need to in order to let yourself cope. I'm okay with that and I am not trying to convince you to stop. But PLEASE...don't go down the path that everything is a miracle. That's like saying "thanks be to God that the serial killer - while he did kill 17 people - didn't kill anyone in our church...God is obviously protecting us. What's that...oh don't worry about explaining the 17 people (even if they also went to a church that said the same thing)...the important thing is we feel okay about God's protection."

Again, don't get me wrong...I once believed exactly like you did. I'm not criticizing...but I don't like the "can you challenge yourself to believe that..." God did intervene crap. My response is can you challenge yourself to consider something other than what you've been told from the pulpit or read in the Bible (because it claims to be God's word...as does the holy book of several other religions by the way...but I don't see you reading those)...if you haven't done any research or reading to explore other possibilities. If it works for you, great. But don't come down with a 'I'm right...I just wish you could see what I see' stuff.

By the way, and as contradictory as this sounds, when I'm faced with trouble, I still find myself "praying". How do I explain that given that I don't think God intervenes? Well, it just feels right to me (I guess I'll never shake that feeling since it was do deeply ingrained in me) and when you are desperate, you hope that there will be some benefit. My view is verbal (petitionary/intercessory) prayer is part of my process of thinking of and caring for others...but I don’t have an expectation that through these prayers I will change the mind or will of an ‘out there’ God so that He intervenes in the normal course of the universe. Maybe (a BIG maybe) I can somehow experience the divine through my prayer and thereby be a conduit to somehow support or give a better chance for the person or situation I am praying for to turn out okay. Or said otherwise, "prayer is the activity that enables each of us to be givers to and receivers from one another of the deepest meaning of life - a meaning I call God"...and hopefully that helps the situation.

ultradust@gmail.com said...

Hi! I made a new Starfield News blog (haha) and I intend to make it the most up to date blog about the band. Come and visit.
Leave a comment so I can link to you.

Thanks!
Anna.