12 injured in Prince George’s County Fair evacuation -- Gazette.Net


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Twelve were injured in a rush to exit the Prince George’s County Fair’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro late afternoon Saturday, following an order to evacuate because of approaching storms, according to a report from the county’s fire and emergency services division.

Four people were taken to the hospital, including a young girl who had an asthma attack. Three others sustained minor bumps and bruises. All were reported to be in good condition. The remaining eight declined treatment. The fair remained closed for the remainder of Saturday.

“Everyone appears to be fine,” Mark Brady, spokesman for the county’s fire and EMS division said Sunday. “They were treated and released last night.”

About 4:30 p.m. Saturday, between 400 to 500 patrons were ordered to evacuate the infield area of the Equestrian Center due to strong storm warnings. As the crowd headed to the closest entrance to the shelter area, the Showplace Arena, some panicked, fell to the ground and were injured as the crowd continued to surge toward the exit.

Heavy rains and high winds further complicated the evacuation.

Volunteer firefighters at the fair helped those injured, and called for additional emergency medical services, including an ambulance bus and more personnel. Victims were treated and transported to the hospital within 20 minutes of the storm, according to the report.

Some tents at the fair were damaged by wind, but were fixed last night. Fair staff evaluated rides and other displays for damage and found none.

“Everything was repaired last night, and fair organizers were prepared to open up the gates this morning on time,” Brady said.

kheerbrandt@gazette.net