Illinois university auditorium makes safety corrections

SPRINGFIELD — A report says safety corrections have been made at a University of Illinois Springfield auditorium after one concert patron was hurt and another died from a fall earlier this year.

The safety report commissioned by the university says unspecified steps have been taken at Sangamon Auditorium to prevent a recurrence. It also says that the 2,000-seat performance venue needs to improve its hazard-reporting process and training of employees on safety policies for the protection of workers and the public.

“We are pleased to have received the Sangamon Auditorium Safety Audit, and we are carefully reviewing the report to assess any needed improvements,” University spokesman Derek Schnapp said. “As we have noted before, the safety of our guests is a top priority, and the report confirms the auditorium is a safe facility. We’re looking forward to another great season of outstanding performances.”

Grey and Associates of Champaign conducted the study for $5,000, The State Journal-Register reported.

Schnapp said damage settlements have also been finalized with the family of the man who died, John Kremitzki, 51, and the patron who was injured, Gregory Hoffman, 57.

Kremitzki fell through an opening near the auditorium’s main stage during a break in a Pink Floyd tribute show in March. Hoffman was injured trying to help Kremitzki.

Kremitzki died the following day at a nearby hospital. An autopsy concluded he died from blunt force injuries to his abdomen. He also suffered fractures to his ribs, spine and pelvis, as well as a broken right leg.

Hoffman broke both of his legs and jaw. He was released from the hospital nine days after the incident.

–Associated Press

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