Man killed in tent collapse was a retired iron worker, father of 3

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by Diana Zoga / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on April 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 1:34 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- When storms blew into downtown St. Louis on Saturday afternoon, Alfred Goodman was in the Kilroy's beer garden tent with his brother.  Kenny Goodman told family members that he noticed a gust of wind lift up part of the tent.  Kenny Goodman reached down to hold onto a pole, in an effort to keep the tent in place, but heard his brother say that it would be impossible to hold it down.  Seconds later they were both knocked to the ground.

Kenny Goodman suffered a bruised eye.  His brother, Alfred, died of blunt force trauma.  He was 58 years old.

Alfred Goodman's daughter, Courtney Bell, says her father was a retired iron worker who worked on the JB and McKinley Bridges.  He was married to his wife for 36 years and they raised three girls who are now 27, 29 and 33 years old.  He was an active member of the Waterloo Sportsmans Club and helped launch the non-profit's popular Haunted Trail and Hayride. 

The Waterloo man was the only fatality in the tent collapse during storms that followed the Cardinals, Brewers game on Saturday.  About 100 others were injured and treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.  Seventeen people were taken to the hospital.  By Monday afternoon, two were still in intensive care at SLU Hospital. Five patients who were taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital have since been released.

Bell says speculation that her father suffered a heart attack during the tent collapse is not true.  Doctors told the family that the man may have suffered a lightning strike.  The medical examiner told the family that Goodman also suffered a contusion to the head.  An investigation into the exact cause of death is underway.

City officials said the overflow tent at Kilroy's was erected just before Opening Day.  Tents that are larger than 1,000 square-feet have to obtain a permit from the city.  Kilroy's was granted one on April 11, according to Building Commissioner Frank Oswald.  The city inspects tents to determine if there are enough exits and if they're well marked, but city inspectors do not look at whether the tent was erected under manufacturer specifications.  That work is up to the contractor, said Oswald.

The tent was supposed to be able to withstand winds of up to 90 miles per hour, according to Oswald.  A National Weather Service storm summary report said winds reached 50 miles per hour, downtown, on Saturday afternoon.

Around 100 to 150 people were under the tent, according to fire department officials and the Kilroy's manager.  Annie Bugg, who is also the owner's daughter, said, "It all happened so quickly.  I don't think anyone could comprehend what was going on."

Sunday, Kilroy's was closed.  A handwritten sign on the door read, "We are closed today due to the tragic events that occured here yesterday.  Please keep those that were effected and their families in your thoughts and prayers [sic]."

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