One dead after tragic stage collapse in Toronto

Radiohead concert cancelled after venue locked down

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This Toronto Star picture sums up what happened on Saturday prior to a planned Radiohead concert in Downsview. Photo from the Toronto Star.

BY TERRANCE GAVAN – Files from sources

The Shrike was alerted to the disturbing news of a Toronto stage collapse from @Jian Ghomeshi on Saturday, June 15.

Ghomeshi, host of the CBC’s Q, disseminated the story via a series of tweets. We picked up the story and are running with a series of news updates from some Toronto news outlets.

TORONTO STAR – The grassy venue inside Toronto’s Downsview Park was a flurry of activity late Saturday afternoon. As staff went about their final preparations, a crush of Radiohead fans waited to flood the gates for the sold-out evening concert.

Inside the beer tent, Oana Damian, 23, and a handful of other workers had just sat down for a meeting with their employer at about 4 p.m. when she heard a loud, “fireworks”-like crackling sound coming from the stage area.

Her back to the stage, Damian twisted around and watched in horror as the stage’s back scaffolding began to twist and snap, the white billowing canopy collapsing onto the stage where a work crew was preparing for the concert.

Standing nearby, Irene Constantin, another beer tent worker, said the mangled metal and scaffolding “looked like toothpicks.”

CBC followed up Ghomeshi’s tweets with some video and news reports.

CBC TV – A stage at Toronto’s Downsview Park has collapsed in advance of this evening’s scheduled Radiohead concert, crushing a man in his 30s to death and injuring three others.

Calls came in to emergency crews at about 4 p.m. ET, and at least one ambulance was already on site. Police say a 30-something man was declared dead at the scene, and a 45-year-old man was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital with a serious but non-life threatening head injury. Two others had minor injuries and were released without treatment.

The man’s name is not being released until police notify his family.

The 7:30 p.m. concert is cancelled, and Radiohead’s official Twitter feed advised fans not to make their way to the venue.

The Globe and Mail followed this story closely and what follows is a set of timely links:

GLOBE AND MAIL – There was a popping crack, like the sound of fireworks, then an eerie silence as Erin Peacock watched the towering stage crumple in on itself, hardware-laden canopy tipping over towards the front end of the stage, taking reams of scaffolding down with it and leaving long sticks of twisted metal behind.