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Circus tent collapses during storm in N.H., two die

Two people were killed and 15 others injured when a circus tent collapsed in New Hampshire during a storm on Monday night, a state fire official said.

About 100 people were inside the tent when a storm packing strong winds and large hail moved through the town of Lancaster, 90 miles north of the state capital of Concord, said State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan at a press conference.

Two spectators were killed, Degnan said. He described them as a “young gentleman” and a “young girl,” but declined to give their ages, saying their families were still being notified.

Fifteen people were taken to the area hospital with injuries, Degnan said. More people might have been hurt and sought medical help on their own, he added.

Degnan said the investigation into the collapse, which happened around 5:30 p.m. local time, was in its early stages.

“These are fairly substantial structures when they are put up and we haven’t had any issues in the past,” he said.

Florida-based Walker International Events was scheduled to put on two shows on Monday night, Degnan said. A representative for the company was not immediately available for comment.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan said on Twitter that the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated and a disaster response team was sent to Lancaster to help affected individuals.

Thunderstorms had been forecast for the New Hampshire area on Monday night. The Lancaster accident comes a day after high winds blew over a tent at a music festival in the Chicago suburb of Wood Dale, killing a 35-year-old man and injuring 15 others.

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