Radiohead Hopes The New Investigation Into Their Drum Tech’s Death Will Prevent Similar Stage Collapses

11.30.17 2 weeks ago

In 2012, a Radiohead concert in Toronto ended in tragedy when the stage roof collapsed and damaged some equipment, leaving three people injured and causing the death of drum tech Scott Johnson. In the aftermath, Live Nation, engineer Domenic Cugliari, and contractor Optex Staging were charged with 13 offenses under provincial health and safety laws, but when it was reported a couple months ago that the trial would no longer proceed, Thom Yorke was pretty upset.

Now, though, CBC reports that “the chief coroner of Ontario will hold an inquest into Johnson’s death.” Radiohead shared a bittersweet reaction to the news:

“Five years on from the Downsview Park Stage Collapse, we have learned that an inquest into Scott Johnson’s death will be formally announced later today. While this is welcomed, it does not bring those responsible for Scott’s death to account, and it provides no justice for Scott and his family. We urge the Canadian authorities to look more closely into their treatment of the Downsview Park Stage Collapse and indeed all workplace deaths to ensure that accidents such as this can be prevented in the future.”

The results of the inquest will not be legally binding, but they could set a precedent and help prevent this sort of thing from happening again. Drummer Philip Selway told CBC that it very nearly could have been him to died in the accident:

“When the collapse happened, it happened at four in the afternoon. Our soundcheck was due to start at four and I actually should have been where Scott was. That is an incredible weight, and personally I can’t let this lie. I want to see a proper conclusion, something that is respectful to Scott.”

Watch CBC’s story, which includes interview clips with Selway, below, and read their full story here.

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