CONCORD, New Hampshire — Authorities in New Hampshire on Wednesday raised the number of people injured in the deadly collapse of a circus tent to more than 50, while the circus operator said it was canceling upcoming performances in the state.
A Vermont father and his 8-year-old daughter died Monday when the tent where they were watching the circus collapsed after being hit by a sudden storm packing 60 mph winds. The event, which was attended by about 100 people, was held on fairgrounds in Lancaster, a rural town in the north of the state.
New Hampshire Fire Marshal Bill Degnan told reporters Wednesday the tally of injured increased from initial estimates because not all the victims went to the hospital.
“From what I’ve heard regarding what was being seen, I’m not surprised the injury statistics are up to around 50 at this time,” Degnan said.
One injured person remains in the hospital, he added.
The circus operator, Walker International Events of Sarasota, Florida, agreed to cancel the eight shows that had been scheduled in New Hampshire this week while the investigation continues into what went wrong, he said.
Authorities are investigating why the Monday evening show went on despite a severe weather warning that was issued shortly before the show began. The company also lacked the proper state permit to hold the event, according to Degnan.
Walker made its first public statement Wednesday on the incident, stating it is “deeply saddened by the tragic chain of events that occurred in Lancaster.”
Degnan said the state review would continue for several weeks, and he did not rule out legal action against the company.
“A decision will be made with the county attorney regarding any possible charges that come out of this,” he said.
The flattened tent remained cordoned off by police tape Wednesday.