Severe Weather

1 Dead, Many Injured After Tent Collapses at Suburban Festival

Three people were seriously injured and 17 to 20 were taken to area hospitals

One person died and several others were injured after a tent collapsed at a suburban Chicago festival during Sunday's severe weather.

The incident happened at about 2:40 p.m. at Wood Dale Prairie Fest, which took place near Wood Dale Junior High, as 60 mph winds and large hail pounded the area.

"We were trying to squeeze in (the tent) so we didn't get hit by hail," an 11-year-old witness told NBC Chicago. "There was the tent, and it just flew and it crashed over."

The victim who died was identified by the DuPage County coroner as Steven Nincic, a 35-year-old father of two from Wood Dale.

"He worked 2 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyday," said Nincic's neighbor Matt Carolo. "Good guy."

In addition to the fatality, more than a dozen others were taken to area hospitals and several were treated and released on the scene, according to the Wood Dale Police Department. All of the victims were between the ages of 20 and 60.

A Wood Dale Police officer and a city official were among the nearly 20 injured, according to authorities. Most of the injuries were said to be minor, but three people suffered critical wounds, police said. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, and we are also praying for all those who were injured or affected by this tragedy," Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice said in a statement.

Officials said they are investigating whether the tent was properly secured. 

Wood Dale Prairie Fest is a four-day festival organized "to encourage community involvement and togetherness." The festival was held July 30 to Aug. 2.

The remainder of the festival was cancelled following the incident along with the town's National Night Out scheduled for Tuesday. 

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