Radiohead calls for public apologies for 2012 fatal stage collapse

Radiohead calls for public apologies for 2012 fatal stage collapse
Radiohead calls for public apologies for 2012 fatal stage collapse

Radiohead is demanding a public apology to the victim’s family from all those responsible for the 2012 stage collapse in Downsview Park that left a member of their crew dead.

The stage fell seven years ago on June 16 before the show was scheduled to start, killing Scott Johnson, one of the band’s drum technicians.

To date, only the former staging owner has apologized, Radiohead wrote in a statement appearing on the front page of the band’s website Tuesday.

“Scott’s father Ken said that all he wanted was for those responsible to hold their hand up, admit responsibility and to make sure that it never happens to anyone else. We all acknowledge that no one intended for Scott to die,” the band wrote.

The call came after another inquest — held in Johnson’s hometown of Doncaster, England — wrapped last month. U.K. senior coroner Nicola Mundy ruled inadequate technical advice and “wholly inadequate construction techniques” led to Johnson’s death.

In Toronto, the contractor Optex Staging and the show’s promoter, Live Nation, were initially charged under provincial health and safety laws in connection with the collapse. The case was halted when the presiding judge was appointed to a higher court.

The charges were then stayed after the defence successfully argued the delays violated their clients’ rights to a timely trial, which was expected to wrap up in mid-2018, five years after the charges were laid.

The Ontario coroner’s inquest into the collapse then heard from 25 witnesses and concluded in April. Lawyers recommended a provincial task force be set up to better examine the live performance industry, raised concern over the lack of consistent design drawings and demanded trained supervisors be on site at all times during construction.

“The system failed. Not just the truss. My people. Me. I’m responsible,” Dale Martin, the head of the now defunct Optex Staging, told the inquest in early April.

Since the stage was constructed on federal land there was no requirement to apply for a building permit and so no independent oversight of construction process, the inquest heard.


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