never want to put our fans in harm's way and with tonight's
weather and the injuries from earlier, we have decided to cancel
the show and will attempt to reschedule," the Backstreet Boys
said on the band's Twitter page.
Patrons at the sold-out show held at the WinStar World Casino
and Resort in Thackerville, nearly 130 miles south of Oklahoma
City, were asked to seek shelter at around 5:00 p.m. local time
when lightning appeared within four miles of the casino, the
resort said in a statement.
About 150 people ignored the warnings and continued to wait in
line for the show.
"At approximately 5:30 p.m., the storm hit and knocked over the
concert entrance trusses with 70-80 mile an hour winds and heavy
rain," resort officials said in a statement.
Fourteen people were treated at the scene and taken to local
hospitals. Two have been released, officials said.
The Backstreet Boys, best known for hits like "I Want It That
Way" and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," and 98 Degrees, famous
for their love ballad "I Do (Cherish You), were scheduled to
perform for more than 12,000 fans.
Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson told fans via his
Twitter account that safety inspectors had checked the stage for
damage after the storm.
"Unfortunately, due to damage sustained in the storm earlier
this evening, we are unable to perform the show tonight,"
Richardson tweeted later on. "Safety is always #1. Keep your
tickets because, Backstreet WILL BE BACK."
Organizers said the concert would be rescheduled and tickets to
Saturday's show would be honored on the new date.
"We are disappointed that tonight's show was canceled due to the
inclement weather," said 98 Degrees via the band's Twitter page.
"We know many of you traveled to be here today. Sending you all
our love and hope to see you soon."
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Darren
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