Radiohead stage collapse victim named as Scott Johnson

Tony Vella, from Toronto police, explains how the stage collapsed an hour before gates were due to open

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A man killed when a stage collapsed ahead of a Radiohead concert in Toronto, Canada, has been named as 33-year-old Scott Johnson, a drum technician from South Yorkshire.

A relative confirmed the death of Mr Johnson, from Doncaster, who worked for other British bands, including Keane.

Police in Toronto said the stage was being set up on Saturday when the top part of it collapsed on top of him.

The Foreign Office confirmed that Mr Johnson's family had been notified.

Three other people were injured, one seriously, in the incident at Downsview Park, medical officials said.

'Shattered by loss'

The band, from Oxfordshire, south-east England, were not on stage at the time and the sell-out concert was cancelled. A message on the band's website said the gig had been cancelled due to "unforeseen circumstances".

An investigation into the cause of the incident is under way.

The band said on their website: "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."

Ian West, Mr Johnson's drum teacher in Doncaster, said his former pupil toured the world with famous bands including Radiohead and Keane.

Mr West said: "It was a very, very big shock. 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."

'Big shock'

Fellow musicians have been paying tribute to the drum technician on Twitter.

Jack Lawrence Brown, drummer with White Lies, tweeted: "Devastated to learn that the man killed in the Radiohead stage collapse was drum tech Scott Johnson.

Radiohead at the Reading and Leeds Festival, 2009 The Radiohead gig was part of a world tour

"Scott worked with White Lies on a show earlier in the year as my drum tech. A very talented man and a lovely guy all round. Glad to have known him. A big loss. RIP Scott."

The collapse happened an hour before the gates were due to open for the concert, with queues already beginning to form outside.

'Like car accident'

Toronto police said the stage collapsed at 16:00 local time (20:00).

Those injured were all part of a team involved with setting up the stage, officials said.

Tony Bellavance, Fire Services Platoon Chief in Toronto, said officials were alerted to a person trapped under the rubble and crews assisted in extracting the victim.

He said: "It was a crushing injury that killed the man."

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 200-300 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."

Some 40,000 people were expected for the sold-out gig, which was also due to feature Canadian musician Caribou.

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