LAMMA: '˜Pieces of material were flying off the main hall'
Orgainsers of the cancelled LAMMA show at the East of England Arena have said they had no option but to cancel the event.
The show brings thousands of people from across the country to the city, both as exhibitors and visitors.
But following strong winds last night, the final day of the show was cancelled this morning.
Now organisers have said they had no choice but to cancel the event.
Elisabeth Mork-Eidem, Event Director said: “We have received a number of questions about the decisions made this morning which regrettably led to the cancellation of Day 2 of LAMMA 2018. As you can understand, our team were faced with a very fluid situation but I hope the following will explain some of the process that was followed.
“The weather forecast was for high winds overnight but, as is normally the case, it was not possible to know exactly the strength, duration or direction of the worst of the storm. It was also predicted that the worst of the weather would hit between about 4am and 7am before the show opened.
“Additional work was performed to provide improved resistance to the weather, particularly for the larger structures. In addition, a number of contingency plans were drawn up – which were then actioned this morning.
“The LAMMA Operations Team were on site all night and monitored the winds, and extreme gusts were recorded between about 4am and 6am. While it was very difficult to assess the initial damage in the dark, it was evident before 6am that we would not be able to open the site before the winds abated. Prior to this it was not safe for people to be on site and out of vehicles. There were also pieces of material coming off the Main Hall when the wind was at its highest.
“While it was far from perfect, we took the decision that for safety reasons, we could only let exhibitors into Halls 1 and 2 and the Conference Suites and not onto the remainder of the Site.
“Once the winds abated we performed a systematic review of the site to assess as quickly as possible the extent of the damage. Only once all of the halls and larger stands had been checked for structural integrity was it possible to enter to assess the internal damage.
“As many of you have seen, there was significant damage across the site. Due to the nature of the showground, it is not possible to section off areas and so if any of the Site was unsafe it would not be possible to open the Site to the Public. We were also aware that there were significant traffic issues due to the back up of Visitors and we therefore made the regrettable decision to close the Show.
“All decisions were made with Health & Safety in mind, and we have made all efforts possible to minimise injuries either to contractors, staff, exhibitors or the Public. We thank you for your understanding and your patience this morning.
“Our priority right now must be to clear the site safely. Be assured we will deal with all queries once this has been completed.”