Morbid Angel fans praise "heroes" who helped injured from venue devastated by deadly tornado

A picture taken outside the devastated Apollo Threater in Illinois, USA
(Image credit: 3xil3d (Instagram))

More details have emerged about the "chaos" after a deadly tornado caused the roof to collapse at a Morbid Angel gig.

The tornado hit the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois, on Friday night after support act Crypta had performed. Belvidere Police have confirmed that a 50-year-old man was killed when part of the roof collapsed onto the audience.

CBS News reports that another 28 were injured and that two of those people have life-threatening injuries.

Describing the scene when his officers arrived, Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody says: "Chaos. Absolute chaos. When officers are first on the scene, when the fire department and first responders get here, they do the best they can to control the chaos as much as possible.

"But ultimately, we go in, and ultimately try and find people, and save as many people as we possibly can and bring them to safety as best as we can."

One man who was at the show with his son said in a video posted to social media that the collapse happened just as fans who had gone outside to smoke between support acts were rushing back inside as weather conditions quickly declined.

Fans on social media have praised the first responders as well as gig-goers who came to the aid of the injured.

One fan called Hasib, who goes by the name 3xil3d on Instagram, posted a story with series of videos showing images from before and after the incident. He spoke with injured fans and others at the scene who were waiting to hear if their loved ones were safe.

On Morbid Angel's Instagram page, one mother who's son was at the show said: "@3xil3d you will forever be our hero! Thank you for helping pull my son and his friend out of the rubble and for tending to my son's friend at the firehouse."

A number of others described Hasib as a hero for his actions. One writes: "You are a hero brother. My thoughts and prayers go out to you."

Hasib's own comment on Morbid Angel's post described how fans joined forces to lift part of the collapsed roof and free people who were trapped. He says: "I am still shocked by what happened. I made it out alive and helped as many people as I could by pulling them out of the rubble and bringing them to the fire station.

"We all stepped in to lift the roof and help save as many lives as possible. Big shoutout to the Belvidere Fire Department for taking care of the injured and saving people."

Morbid Angel say: "We lost a brother in metal last night, and many were hurt and injured in this tragedy. We would like to express how truly thankful we are for those in attendance (fans, venue staff, bands and crew) that assisted with getting people out and to safety.

"We want to thank the first responders (Fire, EMT, Police) that were on the scene quickly and were able to help in getting people out of the venue and to hospitals for treatment as quickly as possible. You are true heroes!"

Tonight's (Saturday) scheduled gig in Joliet, Illinois has been postponed.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.