PLSN — July 2012
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Scott Johnson, Radiohead Crew Member, Dies in Toronto Stage Collapse

TORONTO — Staging elements for a June 16 Radiohead concert at Downsview Park partially collapsed, with falling structural elements pinning and killing drum tech Scott Johnson, 33, at the scene. Another crew member was hospitalized with a non-life-threatening head injury, and two others were treated at the scene.

Although the structure had apparently been checked out by an engineer and approved for use, according to published reports, the stage’s roofing elements collapsed about 4 pm, an hour before showgoers were set to be admitted to the 7:30 pm show.

Along with the announcement that the concert was cancelled and the tour would be suspended until July 10, where it would pick up again in Nîmes, France, the British band posted a tribute to Johnson, who was also from the U.K.

“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.”

Investigators from Ontario’s Ministry of Labor have been inspecting the partiallycollapsed staging structure, looking for what went wrong. The three inspectors and two engineers are reportedly proceeding with caution, as the structure has been deemed unstable.

Labor Ministry officials have requested documents from Live Nation, the concert organizer, along with Optex Staging and Services, Nasco Staffing Solutions and Ticker Tape Touring LLP, a company owned by Radiohead, according to reports.

Some 40,000 people were expected to attend the sold-out show, featuring Canadabased Caribou as the opening act. The weather — sunny, with light breezes — did not appear to be a factor.