Thursday, November 23, 2017

Man dies when stage collapses before Radiohead show in Toronto

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TORONTO — A massive stage collapse hours before a Radiohead concert Saturday left one person dead and three others injured, officials said.

Emergency Medical Services deputy commander David Viljakainen said a man who was trapped under the rubble was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said he was in his mid 30s. A 45-year-old man was hospitalized with a head injury and two others were treated at the scene for minor injuries at the Downsview Park venue, Viljakainen said.

The venue said on its website that the sold-out concert was canceled.

Fire Services Platoon Chief Tony Bellavance said officials were alerted to a person trapped under the rubble and crews assisted in extracting the victim. "It was a crushing injury that killed the man," he said.

Police spokesman Tony Vella said the crew was setting up the stage when it collapsed.

"They were setting up when the top portion collapsed on top of them. Unfortunately, four people were hurt. The remainder of the people, when they heard the stage coming down, ran from the area," Vella said.

Dusty Lalas, an employee with Toronto Radio Station "the Edge," which was sponsoring the concert, said the structure suddenly caved in.

"There was a loud crash and it sounded like sheet metal and lightning, and we just saw the stage collapse," Lalas said.

Radiohead tweeted that "due to unforeseen circumstances tonight's concert at downsview park tonight has been canceled. Fans are advised not to make their way to the venue."

Radiohead's website had said 40,000 tickets were sold.

Jaime Rivest, 33, said about 4 p.m. the stage suddenly came down, crumpling and falling onto itself. "It was like a tornado hit the stage," she said.

There have been a number of concert stage collapses in recent years. Last August, six people died when the stage collapsed at a Sugarland concert in Indianapolis; five died in Belgium when a storm swept in and toppled the stage at the Pukkelpop Festival.

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