One person died and 100 were injured, five seriously, when a sudden storm destroyed a beer tent where 200 people had gathered after a St. Louis Cardinals game yesterday, reports the Post-Dispatch. Sudden winds of about 50 miles per hour ripped through the tent behind Kilroy's Sports Bar for just a few seconds, but that was enough to shatter the aluminum poles that held it up and send the tent into the air. "I thought a train fell off the track," said the bar owner. "We all ducked for cover. Everything was going sideways. I had metal chairs ripping across the beer garden."
Though barstools and a 100-pound bass amplifier also flew through the air, the owner says firefighters told him lightning, not the airborne debris, caused the fatality. "At some point in that five seconds, we were getting lightning strikes, and apparently one of our customers got hit by lightning right in the middle of the dance floor," he explains. Seventeen people were taken to the hospital, notes the AP. St. Louis had a thunderstorm watch for much of yesterday, and tornado sirens went off about two hours after the beer tent accident. Though the tent was supposed to be able to weather 90mph winds, "tents are temporary structures," said the St. Louis building commissioner. "They are certainly not designed in any stretch of the imagination to handle weather like this."