Indianapolis, IN Speedway Tower Collapse, May 1960


Indianapolis (AP) -- A collapsing aluminum tower hurled dozens of auto race fans onto people below them today. Two men died of broken necks in the tangled sprawl at the Indianapolis Motor Speeway.
At least 50 persons were injured, three seriously.
The 30-foot scaffold toppled at the start of the 44th annual 500-mile auto race at the Speedway.
The dead men were identified as FRED H. LINDER, 36, Indianapolis, and WILLIAM CRAIG, 37, Zionsville, Ind.
About 35 persons tumbled onto other fans standing below them when the tower fell.
The aluminum scaffold was privately owned and persons without grandstand seats had paid price of $5 and $10 for various positions on the tower.
The scaffold commapsed with a crash and scattered occupants all over the grass just outside the Speedway infield fence.
"All of a sudden I heard a crumbling sound," said RUSSELL SKOMP, 19, Kokomo, Ind., who was standing at the base of the scaffold when it broke as the occupants leaned forward to watch the pre-race parade lap.
"At first I thought it was thunder. Then everybody started shoving and screaming and running. The scaffold fell on a truck and saved a lot of people. The people on the top three rows were scattered all over the outside of the fence."
The scaffold is similar to hundreds which cram the Speedway infield for the big race each year. Race fans climb atop them to get a better view of the 2 1/2 mile track.

Greeley Daily Tribune Colorado 1960-05-30