Bill to regulate outdoor stage equipment passes Indiana House

The Indiana House passed a bill that would regulate outdoor stage equipment Monday.

Indianapolis

The Indiana House passed a bill that would regulate outdoor stage equipment Monday.

The 92-5 vote came more than six months after the stage collapsed at the State Fairgrounds, killing seven and injuring dozens.

"I think we're all aware now that stages can be dangerous," said Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-District 86, before the vote.

DeLaney co-sponsored the bill and said the stage should have been inspected, but wasn’t because there wasn’t a state agency that was required to inspect it.

"It was a mess," he said. “The fact that this terrible accident occurred on state property kept the city from monitoring it. It was a sad combination of events."

Under the bill, the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission would have to create rules and regulate outdoor stage equipment. DeLaney calls it a temporary fix which would expire in 2014. He said the bill also creates a study committee that would examine the regulations across the state and recommend a more permanent solution.

Some lawmakers said regulation alone won’t save lives and inspecting the Grandstand stage at the State Fair might not have changed the outcome.

DeLaney agreed, but said the bill was a part of the solution.

"We gotta do two things. We have to have a good regulation of the stage and then we gotta have wise people that observing to say 'I'm sorry this is built well, but this wind is too great," said DeLaney. "We need judgment as well as good regulation."

The bill now goes back to the Senate for final approval.

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