One person was killed and dozens injured as the strong winds caused the collapse of a platform at the Spain Festival

COLLERA, Spain (Reuters) – One person was killed and dozens injured when strong winds caused part of the main stage of a dance music festival near the Spanish city of Valencia to collapse early on Saturday, emergency services said.

Other infrastructure was also damaged when storms swept through the Medusa Festival, a massive electronic music festival held over six days in the east coast town of Cullera.

Provincial health authorities said 32 people were hospitalized and 3 remained there on Saturday afternoon.

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Organizers said they canceled the rest of the festival to preserve the safety of attendees.

“We are utterly devastated and saddened by what happened this morning,” the organizers said earlier on the festival’s Facebook page, adding that the “extreme” weather had caused damage to various infrastructure at the festival site.

“At approximately 4 a.m., unexpected and violent strong winds devastated certain areas of the festival, forcing the management to take an immediate decision to evacuate the concert area to ensure the safety of attendees, workers and performers,” the organizers said.

The festival, where DJ David Guetta was scheduled to play on Saturday, was scheduled to play an all-night DJ on Friday across five stages. DJ Miguel Serna was on the main stage from 3AM until 4AM when the accident happened.

“It was a tense few minutes, I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” he wrote on Instagram.

“The tragedy happened towards the end of my session on the main stage, right below, which was (the area) the hardest hit. It was a few moments of horror, and I’m still in shock.”

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The national weather agency AEMET said there were “strong winds and a sudden rise in temperatures” during the night, with gusts of 82 kph (51 mph) recorded at Alicante airport in the Valencia region.

“Suddenly there was a lot of wind, and the air was so hot, and all the sand started to move, and we saw the tents flying,” said one of the attendees at the festival, whose name was only Laura.

“People started coming in from concerts and according to what they told us, bits of the stage flew off the stage, it was a mess.”

National Radio and Television Corporation (TVE) showed pictures of strong gusts of wind hitting people’s tents and festival umbrellas in the middle of the night, as people were protecting their eyes from sandstorm-like conditions.

Jesus Carretero, who was at the festival with his brother, told TVE, “We are in shock because we were 30 meters (from the stage). It could have been me, it could have been anyone.”

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Additional reporting by Jessica Jones and Elena Rodriguez.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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