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Saturday's tragedy at Toronto's Downsview Park where Radiohead drum technician Scott Johnson died following a stage collapse has raised serious and very legitimate questions as to how temporary outdoor staging is handled.
Courtesy of Kelsey Wetheral, Twitter
According to a Canadian Press report, the Ontario Ministry of Labour were examining the area yesterday, trying to find the exact cause of the mishap. A ministry spokesperson said the "fairly complex" incident could mean a lengthy investigation into what happened. But some within the staging industry say a lack of clear, transparent guidelines is one reason.
"In some cases, it is not clear who's going to say, 'That's not OK,' or 'That doesn't meet the standard,'" Stratford-based safety consultant Janet Sellery said. "I think there's a lot of performances and events that may go on with a lot of fingers crossed."
Sellery also said the current regulations implemented don't go as far as they should when it comes to outdoor concerts held at temporary stages. Sellery says even though people want to "be compliant, you read something and it's clearly written about a construction site."
And unlike previous stage collapses which took place last year in Ottawa during a Cheap Trick performance and in Indiana minutes before Sugarland took the stage, weather conditions played no role in what transpired. At the time of the collapse, it was warm and sunny with little to no wind.
Yesterday, Radiohead addressed Johnson's passing in a statement, saying they were "shattered" by the drum technician's death. The group has made no comment as to whether they will carry on with European tour dates which