Radiohead Concert Stage Collapse: Toronto Police Clearing Venue and Area (Photo)
Ticket holders were starting to converge on Downsview Park for the performance just as the roof cave-in occurred, leaving one person dead and three others injured.
TORONTO – Toronto police said a massive stage collapse at the North by Northeast music festival before a Radiohead concert Saturday has led to the death of one crew member due to a “crushing injury.”
Constable Tony Vella of the Toronto Police told reporters Saturday evening that the summer festival mishap at Downsview Park occurred around 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
“A number of people were on the stage. They were setting up when the top portion of the stage collapsed on top of them,” Vella told reporters. “The area is rendered safe. Unfortunately, one person has been killed,” Vella added four people were hurt, with the remainder of stage crew members able to flee the stage area and escape injury.
One man aged in his 30s sustained a “crushing injury,” and was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics and fire fighters. Toronto police have not yet identified the dead man, pending notification of his family.
An investigation has also been launched into why the stage came down, with the Ontario Ministry of Labor taking part as the Downsview Park concert site is considered a workplace.
Another man aged 45 years was rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Two more crew members were treated on the scene by paramedics, according to Constable Vella.
In the wake of the deadly stage collapse, Toronto police launched a massive effort to keep ticket holders away from Downsview Park, where the show was to be held.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Radiohead show at Downsview Park tonight has been cancelled. Fans are advised not to make their way to the venue,” the band said in a message on its website.
The Live Nation concert was called off due to an “incident,” Downsview Park announced on its own Twitter account, as police attempted to clear the north Toronto area so they could carry out an investigation into the deadly stage collapse.
“We extend our sympathies to everyone touched by the accident at the Radiohead Downsview stage. Our thoughts are with our musical compadres,” tweeted representatives for the NXNE festival, which also featured rapper Ghostface Killa, buzz band Portugal. the Man and art-rock stalwarts Flaming Lips, the latter of whom themselves experienced a dangerous stage collapse last summer in Oklahoma.
No Radiohead band members were caught up in the stage collapse, but around 24 crew members were reportedly setting up the massive structure before the sudden roof collapse.
Besides security guards, it doesn't appear that concert attendees or Radiohead fans were in Downsview Park when the stage came down.
The massive stage collapse is the first major incident of the 2012 concert season (a platform did, however, give way during an Avicii concert in March), but last summer, the music industry suffered similar devastation at multiple shows, including, most horrifically, a headlining set by country band Sugarland at the Indiana State Fair in August 2011.