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Radiohead Drum Tech Killed, 3 Injured in Toronto Stage Collapse

Outdoor stage in Toronto's Downsview Park collapsed late Saturday afternoon

The summer 2011 festival season was plagued with stage collapses, and while the tragedies of last year have taught the live-music industry to be more cautious, the first major accident of 2012 struck over the weekend as the outdoor stage in Toronto’s Downsview Park collapsed late Saturday afternoon just before Radiohead’s show there, killing 33-year-old drum tech Scott Johnson and injuring three others.

The roof of the stage caved in around 4 p.m. ET, reports CBC, an hour before doors for the band’s 40,000-capacity, sold-out show were to open. The band posted a note on their website and on Twitter in the hours following the incident advising fans “not to make their way to the venue” and promising ticket refunds.

“We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague,” Radiohead drummer Phil Selway wrote in a statement posted on the band’s website on Sunday. Johnson was crushed beneath the debris when the roof fell. “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.”

As the BBC reports, members of other bands that knew or worked with Johnson, including White Lies, Elbow, and Portishead, remembered the tech via Twitter.

One of the other three injured was hospitalized for serious but not life-threatening head injuries; the other two were treated on the scene. Local police and fire departments are still investigating what caused the collapse — as the weather at the time was calm, extreme conditions are not expected as a cause — and are encouraging witnesses to the collapse to come forward with any information. Live Nation, the concert’s presenter, has not issued a statement yet. Watch a brief press conference with local authorities that took place following the incident below.

Festival tragedies: Why did they happen? Read SPIN’s report on the accidents of the 2011 fest season.