Bedford Park tent collapse during luncheon in parking lot leaves 26 injured, police say

ByMark Rivera and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, September 15, 2023
26 people injured after tent collapse during luncheon: police
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A witness told ABC7 that an apparent freak gust of wind caused the tent to collapse at a yearly outdoor luncheon in Bedford Park.

BEDFORD PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- At least 26 people were injured in a tent collapse in southwest suburban Bedford Park Thursday morning.

Bedford Park Police Chief Tom Hansen said five people were seriously injured in the incident. All were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

The tent was set up in the Cintas parking lot, 5600 W. 73rd St., when part of it collapsed around 10:45 a.m., Hansen said.

The tent had been set up in the parking lot of Design Collective by CINTAS for a yearly outdoor luncheon. A witness told ABC7 the collapse was caused by an apparent freak gust of wind.

Several neighboring cities were called to assist at the scene, police said.

One witness said he saw the tent fly in the air along with cups, plates and napkins.

OSHA representatives arrived on the scene Thursday afternoon, meeting with CINTAS employees and examining the battered tent in the parking lot. The mangled and crumpled tent, along with tables, chairs and caution tape were all that was left behind.

No foul play is suspected at this time while police continue to investigate the cause of the collapse.

Cintas issued the following statement on the situation:

"Several of our employee-partners were injured at an incident that occurred during an employee-appreciation event earlier today at our Design Collective facility in Bedford Park, IL. We are grateful to the first responders who arrived within minutes of the incident and provided assistance. The health and safety of our employee-partners is our number one priority. We are cooperating with local officials to determine the cause of the incident. Cintas will continue to monitor the situation and do everything we can to assist our employee-partners during this time."