Circus Victims Identified, Microburst Suspected

Aug 4, 2015

Television crews and reporters from throughout New England set up outside the Lancaster Fairgrounds.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

  

  

State officials say the father and daughter killed Monday evening in the collapse of a circus tent in Lancaster were from Concord, Vermont.

They were identified as 41 year-old Robert Young, and his six-year-old daughter Annabelle,

State fire marshal Bill Degnan said they died of “blunt force trauma” from beams that had been supporting the tent.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon Degnan also faulted the circus operators.

“The circus did not have a place-of-assembly permit and that is one of the things were are looking into.”

"They just went and set up and did it."

The circus should have asked the Lancaster fire department for an inspection.

However, he said, officials from Walker International Events are now cooperating with investigators.

“They are providing all their employees to us to give us details of everything that went on here.”

He said that ranges from how the tent was set up to what happened during the storm.

He said the National Weather Service is helping analyze the storm path and it is possible the tent was hit by a powerful microburst.

Late Tuesday Gov. Maggie Hassan issued a statement: "Our hearts remain heavy following the tragedy yesterday in Lancaster, and it is deeply saddening that a father and daughter lost their lives at what was meant to be a fun, family event. I join all Granite Staters in sending our thoughts and prayers to the Young family, their loved ones and their community in Concord, Vermont, and we also continue to hope for a speedy recovery for all of those who were injured.”