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Aug 4, 2015 6:03 PM

What's next for Walker Brothers Circus after Lancaster tent collapse?


LANCASTER - Walker Brothers Circus comes from Sarasota Florida, a large circus community where the circus arts conservatory told NH1 News that tents can withstand wind gusts of 90 miles per hour.

But was Walker Brother's equipment up to par?

Experts said a possible microburst tore through the area Monday.

On Tuesday, staff and first responders were interviewed throughout the day, trying to piece together what happened.

“To the best of our knowledge there was no inspection done by any local state or state official,” said State Fire Marshal, Willian Degan.

Each town in New Hampshire is different. Not all require permits, licensing or general safety inspections before outdoor events, but all are encouraged

No safety inspection by the local fire chief, as per practice at several other New Hampshire towns said the Fire Marshal.

“The circus did not have a place of assembly permit and that is what we are looking into,” said Degan, “They just went set up and did it.”

At this time there is no indication that there will be any charges against Walker Brothers - the company did not return our calls for comment

Walker Brothers did speak with the town of Grafton checking in on their intended next stop. A show has been canceled for Wednesday.

“They were upset that it happened as we can expect,” said Ed Grinley of the Recreation department in Grafton.

Grafton’s fire chief says the show will not go on unless he sees the proper documentation on Wednesday.

“All I’m looking for is that flammability and a certificate and that their personnel are properly trained in crowd control,” said Chief John Babiarz.

Babiarz says he'll be monitoring the skies for any bad weather and if necessary he will shut the performance down.

The National Weather Service reported Lancaster was under a severe thunderstorm warning at the time of the 5:30 performance, yet the show continued. The state fire marshal said it was up to the company to make the call to evacuate.

“It’s really the responsibility of the company of the show to monitor the conditions and we don't know why they were going on at that time and what they knew,” said Degan.


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