Radiohead lead tributes to stage collapse victim
Published: 18th Jun 2012 11:19:00
British band Radiohead are said to be "shattered" by the death of their "friend and colleague" Scott Johnson, who was killed when a stage collapsed before their show in Toronto, Canada.
The 33-year-old drum technician, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was setting up for the band on Saturday when the top part of the stage fell on him.
Mr Johnson had worked for other British bands, including Keane and White Lies.
"We will miss him very much," said Radiohead's drummer Phil Selway.
"He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny," he went on in a statement on the band's website.
"He was a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew.
"Our thoughts and love are with Scott's family and all those close to him."
Other musicians have been paying tribute on Twitter, among them White Lies drummer Jack Lawrence Brown.
"Scott worked with White Lies on a show earlier in the year as my drum tech," he said on Twitter.
"A very talented man and a lovely guy all round. Glad to have known him. A big loss. RIP Scott."
Richard Jupp, drummer with Manchester band Elbow, tweeted: "RIP Scott Johnson. Lost a great mate and true pro. A kinder bloke you could not meet."
Portishead's Geoff Barrow wrote: "Shocking to hear the passing of crew member Scott Johnson of the Radiohead tour. My thoughts and condolences are with everyone involved."
The Charlatans' frontman Tim Burgess called the death "tragic", adding: "Our thoughts are with the family of Scott Johnson."
Three other people were injured, one seriously, in the incident at Downsview Park, according to medical officials.
The collapse happened an hour before the gates were due to open, with Radiohead fans already beginning to queue outside.
The Oxfordshire band were not on stage at the time and the sell-out concert was cancelled due to what it described as "unforeseen circumstances".
Ian West, Mr Johnson's drum teacher in Doncaster, paid tribute to his former pupil.
"It was a very, very big shock," said West. "He was a great student and a great drummer.
"He got a lucky break and made the most of it, he never looked back.
"The list of bands he worked with was endless. His CV had every band worth their salt on it, a lot of British bands and world class bands."
Those injured were all part of a team setting up the stage, which police confirmed collapsed at 16:00 local time (20:00 BST).
Tony Bellavance, Fire Services Platoon Chief in Toronto, said officials were alerted to a person trapped under the wreckage and crews assisted in extracting the victim.
Tony Vella, from Toronto police, explains how the stage collapsed an hour before gates were due to open
"It was a crushing injury that killed the man," he said.
Toronto police later tweeted that once the structure was deemed safe to work around, forensic officers would begin a joint investigation with the coroner and the Ministry of Labour.
Alexandra Halbert, who was working in a beer tent at the show, said she was about 200 to 300 yards away from the stage, with her back to it, when she heard "something that sounded like fireworks".
"I turned around and the whole top part of the stage had collapsed, as well as the scaffolding," she told the BBC.
"It seemed like there were a couple of minutes of hesitation and no one knew quite what to do. It was only afterwards that we all realised how serious it was."
Jason Ip, a food vendor, said there was "chaos" as people waited for the emergency services to arrive.
"A few people started running towards the stage. No one knew exactly what had happened, but it was clear that people were underneath the stage," he said.
"It was like witnessing a car accident. In a situation like that, you just aren't sure how to react."
Around 40,000 people were expected for the sold-out gig, which was also due to feature Canadian musician Caribou.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Radiohead lead tributes to stage collapse victim. [Online] (Updated 18 Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1435277-Radiohead-lead-tributes-to-stage-collapse-victim [Accessed 15th May 2013]
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