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Safety officials in New Hampshire worked the entire night investigating the collapse of a circus tent during a severe storm that resulted in the death of two spectators and injured at least 22 other people.  Authorities are trying to figure out how the tent was put up at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, which is 90 miles north of the capital of Concord.

For Fire Marshal William Degnan this was the first time his agency had investigated a tent collapse.  The storm which included 60 mile-an-hour gusts and hail began around 5:30 p.m. Monday, which was just as the first of two scheduled shows was beginning.

Degnan said about 100 people were inside the tent at the time of its collapse, and a man and a girl died. Their names were not released at this time.

The injured were taken to four regional hospitals and their conditions were not immediately known.  The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area during the time of the collapse however Degnan couldn’t immediately say whether the spectators were aware of the storm’s intensity.

The collapse comes a day after as the Prairie Fest where one man died and more than a dozen were injured when a tent where people had sought shelter during a brief storm blew away and fell on some of the members of the crowd in Chicago.

The circus was scheduled to head to Bradford, Vermont, for shows on Tuesday and Wednesday.


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