Gov. JB Pritzker to visit site of Apollo Theatre roof collapse that killed father in Belvidere

BELVIDERE, Ill. (WLS) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is set to visit the site of a deadly Belvidere roof collapse on Sunday.

A man died and more than 40 others were injured after the roof collapsed during a sold-out concert at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Illinois, as severe storms raced through the area Friday evening.

WATCH | Apparent Belvidere tornado caught on video

The National Weather Service has confirmed 12 tornadoes in Illinois Friday, including an EF-1 tornado in the Davis Junction-Belvidere area.

The theater’s marquee and facade crashed onto State Street, littering the area with bricks and debris as first responders scrambled to help the wounded. Around 260 people were inside the theater when the collapse happened.

Apollo Theatre before and after roof collapase

Frederick Forest Livingston Jr., 50, has been identified as the man killed, his employer and sister told ABC News Saturday.

His son, Alex, said he was standing right next to his father when the roof collapsed, crushing him during the concert. His heart is now left shattered, recounting the final moments he spent with his father before he was crushed under heavy bricks and debris.

People had gathered at the theater to see metal bands Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains. The show was scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Officials believe fellow concert-goers tried to save Livingston by pulling him from debris that landed on him, they said during a Saturday morning press conference.

Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle said first responders were on the scene of the collapse within two minutes, since the fire station is just across the street. The Boone County Sheriff’s Office confirmed multiple ambulances were called to the scene, and several people were seen being taken away on stretchers.

“It was unreal. It still doesn’t feel real and I was 10 feet from it,” said concert-goer Christina Johnson.

Johnson said theatre staff announced they were taking a 30 minute break because of weather when chaos quickly ensued.

“After the windows busted, they were trying to get people to the basement. But then the roof collapsed,” Johnson explained.

She said it fell right into the main pit area.

“I just remember seeing all these people lifting the roof off of the people. And just trying to pull people out and seeing somebody not moving being pulled out was terrifying,” Johnson recalled.

Officials said more than 40 people were treated at hospitals. They previously said 28 people were injured in the collapse.

Two people suffered life-threatening injuries, police said. Two other people were seriously injured, and everyone who was inside the theater has been accounted for.

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April 2, 2023 at 07:12AM

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