Public Safety Director Calls for Changes in Party Tent Policy after Tragedy
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The city of St. Louis reviews its policy on party tents — after high winds knocked down a bar tent downtown Saturday, injuring about a hundred people and causing the death of one man.
The St. Louis Medical Examiner has ruled that Alfred Goodman, 58, of Waterloo, died of blunt trauma to the head and neck, and not electrocution. The brief statement did not mention whether Goodman suffered a heart attack, as earlier reported.
“Nobody ever said take cover under a tent,” said Public Safety Director Eddie Roth, who wants party tents to all have “weather watchers” on staff to clear out patrons before a tragedy hits.
“The people who erect these tents that are adjacent to their places of business need to make sure that their patrons realize when severe weather is headed their way, and they need to clear the tents out ahead of the weather arriving.”
Roth says right now tents a thousand-square feet or larger are already required to have a staff person present to help the public and advise them of concerns by police, fire and other public safety officials.
The tent that collapsed at Kilroy’s Bar had received a city permit and an inspection prior to the storm, and it appeared to have been properly staked into the ground, Roth said.
Roth added that city inspectors are concerned primarily with fire safety and tripping hazards, and can’t guarantee tents will withstand storms.
“We are not in a position to test whether the tent meets the wind-load and other structural requirements,” Roth said.