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Labour Ministry officials investigate Toronto stage collapse

By | Published on Tuesday 19 June 2012


Officials from the Ontario Labour Ministry are now leading the investigation into the stage collapse that occurred ahead of a planned Radiohead concert in Toronto this weekend, which left the band’s British drum tech dead and three others injured.

According to local media, Toronto police are no longer involved in the investigation, which primarily relates to Canada’s Occupational Health And Safety Act, according to officials. Ministry spokesman Matt Blajer told the Toronto Sun that his department was currently working out what roles various subcontractors played in the building of the stage that collapsed, revealing that many different contractors were involved and that his office was currently “sifting through a real maze”.

Meanwhile, overall promoter Live Nation has been ordered to provide drawings of the roof of the stage construction, which is what fell, and also to propose a system by which equipment and personal affects still located under and around the collapsed stage can be returned.

Two eye witnesses of the incident told the QMI Agency that they thought too much sound and lighting equipment had been attached to the roof of the stage structure, and that that may well have caused it to collapse. Blajer said he was not currently aware of those claims, but that he was sure it was a theory already being considered by investigators.

Back in the UK, Keane were the latest artists to pay tribute to Scott Johnson, the drum tech killed in the stage collapse. Johnson also worked with the Keane boys, who said on their website yesterday: “Scott has been part of our touring family since 2004, working as drum tech, stage manager, and studio tech, but he gave us so much more – he saw the good in everything. He was the cheerful, dependable guy you could always turn to, who lifted the spirits of everyone around him. We can’t believe he’s gone. Our thoughts are with his family and friends; Radiohead and their crew. We love you Scotty, we’ll miss you”.

As previously reported, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway said in a post on his band’s website on Sunday: “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”.