TORONTO - With a loud rumble that one witness compared to a roller coaster, the top of a stage being set up for a concert by the alternative rock band Radiohead collapsed, killing one of the stage workers preparing for the event.
”Suddenly, there was a loud crash and it sounded like sheet metal and lightening and we just saw the stage collapse,” said Dusty Lalas, an employee with Toronto radio station The Edge, which was sponsoring the concert.
"The structure just caved in."
Chris Collins was heading to the show and saw the stage come down from the parking lot at Downsview Park.
"To be honest, it sounded like a roller coaster," Collins told ABC News. "Basically, like a series of clacking noises and increasing in volume as the collapse proceeded."
The stage collapsed onto workers preparing the structure for the concert, said Toronto police Const. Tony Vella.
”From my understanding, it was all stage crew, they were simply preparing for the concert,” he told reporters.
Police were not immediately releasing the identity of the dead person, who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
One other person was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, another two people were treated at the scene, said Peter Rotolo a unit commander with Toronto Emergency Medical Services.
“Fortunately we had a unit that was already on the scene for the concert,” he said. ”They were on the scene immediately to render aid to the injured staff.”
It was not immediately known what caused the collapse. The weather was sunny and clear in Toronto.
Ontario Ministry of Labour investigators were at the site Saturday evening inspecting the wreckage.
The concert was cancelled, according to a tweet by the band. Radiohead's website had listed the concert as being sold out.
Police say the park wasn't full at the time of the collapse, but there was a considerable crowd of people already waiting for the show. Security at the event moved people out of the venue.
"The security team came out, huge security team it was actually very well orchestrated everyone went out without any incident," Lalas said.
There have been a number of stage collapses in recent years.
Six people died last August 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.
In Canada, several people were injured when the stage went down at Bluesfest in Ottawa last July and one person died and more than a dozen were injured in 2009 when a powerful windstorm caused the main stage to collapse at the Big Valley Jamboree near Camrose.
Prior To The Collapse: Tracey Hamilton
Before The Collapse: Nicole Rose Hogeveen
"We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague. He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott's family and all those close to him."
An aerial shot from the Canadian Press:
The man killed in yesterday's collapse was Scott Johnson, Radiohead's drum tech.
|@ brooklynvegan : Flaming Lips paying tribute to Radiohead by covering "knives out" to 1000s at free s @ Yonge-Dundas Square http://t.co/0WPH1xV9|
|@ TorontoPolice : The #Radiohead concert has been CANCELLED. Rumours that they will be playing at Yonge/Dundas Square are FALSE! Please RT ^tb|
All of the individuals injured were crew members, according to the Globe and Mail.
"One 45-year-old man is in hospital with non life-threatening injuries; two other men suffered minor injuries, were treated on scene by paramedics and released.
Police have not released the names of the victims."
“The area is rendered safe. Unfortunately one person has been killed,” Const. Tony Vella told the media Saturday evening.
Police will work with the Ministry of Labour to determine the cause, and witnesses are encouraged to come forward.
Expect traffic delays around the area.
|@ ThatEricAlper : Radiohead cancellation info: TM automatically returns ticket price to credit card. In-person point of purchase beginning June 22.|
|@ CP24 : Police say a man in his 30s died as a result of stage collapse. A 45-year-old-man taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.|
|@ niamhsays : I'm here at scene, disappointed fans milling about. Chopper overhead. Stage looks like heap of twisted metal #Radiohead #DownsviewPark|
|@ matthewstasoff : The stage collapse at Downsview should not have happened. Weather was perfect. That is why this is a tragedy http://t.co/EL47sKeF|
|@ ThatEricAlper : Ironic fact: Radiohead's Ok Computer was released 15 years ago today. #Downsview Park|
|@ alancross : EMS says the piping/scaffolding holding up the lighting rig collapsed. Downsview Park is federal land. Ministry of Labour to investigate.|
|@ waynecoyne : So sorry to hear about the bad shit at the Radiohead stage ..... Fuck!!! All respect!! All love!!! Our thoughts are with you.....|
|@ alancross : Looks like all of #Radiohead's gear was onstage at the time of the Toronto stage collapse. http://t.co/VUI8MzIq|
Lindsey Bradbury was expected to work at one of the beer tents at the Radiohead concert and said screens were being hung on the stage before the incident, Globe and Mail says.
|@ jianghomeshi : Such a tragic turn to what's been such an incredible week for live music in Toronto. Thoughts are with those working on ground at Downsview.|
|@ radiohead : Due to unforeseen circumstances tonight's at downsview park tonight has been cancelled. Fans are advised not to make their way to the venue.|
"Spinner spoke to Zach Carothers of Portugal. the Man, who are playing the outdoor stage at Younge-Dundas Square today, about the stage collapse.
'We never really thought about it before last year until those several terrible things happened, so yes it's a worry. It's just a terrible thing everyone going out and expecting a really fun time at a rock show. It's terrible. I've already heard reports that one person died, and our hearts go out to their family. Hopefully everyone else is alright.'"
|@ TorontoPolice : We are still gathering details re:stage collapse at Downsview Park. Concert has been cancelled. Will update with later ^tb|
|@ BreakingNews : Photo appears to show collapsed stage at Downsview Park in Toronto - @zakeaa http://t.co/LrLeJpZF|
Concert promoters LiveNation have issued this press release, according to TheGridTO.com.
"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.
REFUNDS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE AT POINT OF PURCHASE.
FURTHER INFORMATION IS TO FOLLOW."
One person has been sent to Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital, Global News reports. Two more are being attended to at the park.
|@ jianghomeshi : CBC News now confirms 3 hurt at stage collapse at Downsview. #Radiohead show in Toronto will NOT go ahead. This is terrible news for fans.|
|@ BreakingNews : Report: 1 person pronounced dead after stage collapse at Downsview Park in Toronto before Radiohead concert - @CP24|