As posted by CBC News Toronto:
A stage at Toronto’s Downsview Park has collapsed in advance of a scheduled Radiohead concert, killing one person and injuring at least three, one seriously.
Calls came in to emergency crews at about 4 p.m. ET and at least one ambulance was already on site. One person was declared dead at the scene, one was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital in serious condition and two others were treated for minor injuries and released.
The 7:30 p.m. concert is cancelled, and Radiohead’s official Twitter feed advised fans not to make their way to the venue.
Gates had been scheduled to open at 5 p.m.
Alexandra Mihan was setting up in a beer tent parallel to the stage when she heard a sound like fireworks.
“Then everyone started screaming and gasping,” she told CBC News. “We turned around, and the entire top of the stage has just collapsed. All of the metalwork and all of the screens had just kind of folded over on top of each other.”
The area was quickly cleared by emergency crews.
Police say the park wasn’t full but there was a considerable crowd of people already waiting for the show. The park is a frequent site of concerts, and 40,000 people were expected for tonight’s sold-out show by the hugely popular English band. The opener was to be Canadian act Caribou.
The weather in Toronto at the time of the accident was calm, with temperatures in the high 20s and the forecast calling for light winds.
Mihan said the weather was “beautiful.”
“It couldn’t have been the weather that attributed to the collapse.”
Several stage accidents
The stage collapse is one of several high-profile accidents at concert sites throughout North America in recent years — though the others happened during inclement weather and with fans nearby.
In August 2009, the collapse of a stage at Alberta’s Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alta., killed a 35-year-old woman when a storm blew in.
In July 2011, a stage at Ottawa Bluesfest fell in a storm just moments after the band Cheap Trick had left the stage. No one was killed, but several people were treated for injuries.
On Aug. 13, 2011, a wind gust toppled the main stage at the Indiana State Fair, killing five people and injuring 45 other as they were waiting for the band Sugarland to perform. A study determined the stage was poorly designed.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour has been called in to investigate Saturday’s disaster in Toronto.
Radiohead was supposed to play tonight in Toronto, but a deadly accident at the venue has scuppered the show. (Submitted by Amy Bell)