The British band Radiohead has posted its first public reaction to the death of a drum technician crushed in the stage collapse at Toronto’s Downsview Park, which occurred just hours before the start of a sold-out concert.
Radiohead's public statement:
"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."
The band released the statement Sunday evening, offering condolences to the family and loved ones of Scott Johnson, whom the band described as "a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny."
Johnson was a crew member for the hugely popular band that was due to play a Saturday night show for 40,000 fans.
The show was called off after the collapse, just an hour before the gates were set to officially open.
Toronto police and Ministry of Labour investigators were at the venue on Sunday, trying to piece together what caused the collapse.
Ministry of Labour spokesperson Matt Blajer told The Canadian Press that investigators are trying to determine whether safety regulations and standards were followed and if staff were properly trained.
Blajer said the investigation is "fairly complex" and could take time to determine exactly what happened.
1 other sent to hospital
Calls came in to emergency crews around 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. Police said a man in his 30s 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.
Members of the band returned to England Sunday morning. The Toronto show was to have been the finale of their North American tour.
Caribou, the Polaris Prize-winning Canadian band that was set to open for Radiohead, issued the following statement on the stage collapse:
"We are profoundly saddened by what happened at Downsview Park today. All our sympathy is with the band and crew and the families of those affected."
The weather in Toronto at the time of the collapse was calm, with temperatures in the high 20s and the forecast calling for light winds.
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.