Toronto

Radiohead frontman says people 'not being held accountable' after stage collapse 6 years ago

"The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable — in your city," said Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke during a show at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

WARNING: This story contains profane language

Thom Yorke of Radiohead blasted Ontario's handling of the aftermath of a 2012 stage collapse at Downsview Park in Toronto that killed one of the band's drum technicians, Scott Johnson. (Greg Allen/Associated Press)

Standing before a soldout crowd at Scotiabank Arena, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke expressed frustration with the outcome of an investigation into a stage collapse that killed one of the band's drum technicians at another venue in Toronto. 

"Six years ago, we wanted to do a show in Toronto. The stage collapsed, killing one of our colleagues and friends," said Yorke during the band's first show in the city since the death of Scott Johnson, 33, on June 16, 2012.

"The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable — in your city. The silence is f--king deafening," he continued, as a chorus of boos rose up from fans. 

The band then tried to hold a brief moment of silence before launching into a version of its song Karma Police.

Yorke's lament echoed statements other members of the British rock group have made publicly in recent years. The band has been consistently critical of what it says is an "inexcusable" lack of answers in Johnson's death. 

Johnson was killed when the roof of a temporary stage set up at Toronto's Downsview Park gave way, crushing him. Three other people were injured. 

An investigation by Ontario's Ministry of Labour that was completed in 2013 resulted in a total of 13 charges being laid against event promoter Live Nation, Optex Staging and Domenic Cugliari, an engineer. Both companies and Cugliari pleaded not guilty.

In 2017, a judge stayed all the charges after concluding that the case had taken so long to go to trial that the delay violated the rights of the accused.

Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson was crushed by the roof of a temporary stage structure when it gave way and fell onto him. Three other people were injured. (Ken Johnson)

In an interview with CBC News published this week, Radiohead drummer Philip Selway criticized the province and said its investigation failed to shed light on what really led to Johnson's death.

"It's six years now, it's six years without answers. Without answers to what went wrong, there's nothing that you can put in place to prevent it from happening again," Selway said. 

Radiohead returns to Toronto 6 years after fatal stage collapse 1:35

Late last year, the office of Ontario's chief coroner announced there will be an inquest into Johnson's death, but no date has been set.