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Ontario Government Sets Date for Investigation Into Deadly Radiohead Stage Collapse

INDIO, CA - APRIL 21: Musician Thom Yorke of Radiohead performs on the Coachella Stage during day 1 of the 2017 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 2) at the Empire Polo Club on April 21, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Ontario’s Chief Coroner will launch an inquest in March into a stage collapse at Toronto’s Downsview Park where Radiohead was scheduled to perform in July 2012, The Globe & Mail reports. The incident killed the band’s drum technician Scott Johnson and injured three others. Charges were filed in 2013 against the show’s promoter Live Nation, scaffolding company Optex Staging, and engineer Domenic Cugliari, but the case was stayed in 2017 following years of legal complications.

Radiohead criticized the stay at the time, stating, “This is an insult to the memory of Scott Johnson, his parents and our crew. It offers no consolation, closure or assurance that this kind of accident will not happen again.” Frontman Thom Yorke commented further on the case during Radiohead’s July show in Toronto, the band’s first in the city since the accident. “The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable in your city. The silence is fucking deafening,” Yorke said.

The new investigation, which was first announced last November, is expected to include input from Radiohead, Optex, and Live Nation. It will begin on March 25 and last three weeks. The inquest’s recommendations are non-binding, though, and the victim’s father Ken Johnson expressed skepticism to The Globe & Mail. “It gives me no satisfaction that the inquest is taking place, but I do trust in the process. I do not expect to learn anything, as the facts were clear and proven in court,” Johnson, who serves as the health and safety secretary for a British scaffolding trade association, said.

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