The New Hampshire Department of Safety

Office of the New Hampshire Fire Marshal


LANCASTER, NH – Fire Marshal William Degnan announced today the availability of mental health services for those affected by the tent collapse in Lancaster on Monday that claimed the lives of two spectators and injured more than 50 others.

“This was a serious wind event that took the tent down and unfortunately took the lives of Robert and Annabelle Young and injured many others,” Degnan said. “I commend the heroic actions of patrons, local fire, police and emergency medical personnel who rushed to render aid and rescue trapped patrons. It’s important for the public to know that mental health services are available for anyone who wishes to speak with a professional who can help with the healing process.”

Many of the less-severely injured sought help from their primary care physician to keep from inundating hospitals that were treating the severely injured, Degnan said. Currently, one spectator remains hospitalized at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, he said.

The investigation will be lengthy and will require investigators to provide a complex analysis of data and spectator interviews before a final determination of the exact cause of the collapse can be reached, Degnan said.

Today, structural engineers from the State Department of Transportation worked with investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal to examine the construction of the tent and compare that data against structural plans for the tent, he said. Yesterday, soil data was collected and is being examined with assistance from the Department of Environmental Services to better determine soil strength in the area around the tent, he said.

The National Weather Service has reported that a microburst with wind gusts of 75 mph and wind bursts of 90 mph occurred at the time of the tent collapse.

Degnan expressed his thanks to the medical community, the Coos County Sherriff, the Grafton County Sherriff, the County Attorney, the State Attorney General, the State Department of Environmental Services, the State Department of Transportation, the State Police, the American Red Cross, the National Weather Service, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for their continued assistance with this investigation.

Those who wish to speak with a professional for help with emotional and mental healing are asked to call one of the following health centers: The Mental Health Center in Berlin at 603-752-5194, White Mountain Mental Health in Littleton at 603-444-5358, The Mental Health Center in Colebrook at 603-237-4955, or Northeast Kingdom Human Services in St. Johnsbury at 1-800-649-0118.

The Fire Marshal asks anyone who was in attendance during the collapse to contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at FMO@dos.nh.gov or to call (603)223-4289.