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Radiohead Demands Answers in Drum Technician’s Death

At the first of its two concerts in Toronto this week, Radiohead slammed the city Thursday for its lack of progress in the investigation into the stage collapse that killed the band’s drum technician Scott Johnson in 2012. “The stage collapsed, killing one of our colleagues and friends. The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable in your city,” singer Thom Yorke told the crowd at the Scotiabank Arena, according to the Guardian. “The silence is f—ing deafening.”

He called for a moment of silence for Johnson, then pointedly led the band into its 1997 song “Karma Police.”

At the city’s Downsview Park on June 16, 2012, the outdoor stage collapsed an hour before the crowd was to be allowed into the venue, killing Johnson and injuring three other crew members. A year later, the province of Ontario’s Ministry of Labor brought charges against Live Nation, which promoted the event, a scaffolding company, and an engineer, all of whom denied wrongdoing. In 2017, after multiple hearings and delays, a judge put the charges on hold, later ruling that the delays had caused the case to take too long to come to trial. The province’s chief coroner announced an investigation later that year, but a date has not been set.

On Wednesday, the band’s drummer, Philip Selway, discussed the band and Johnson’s family’s frustrations with the process. “There have been no real answers. Without the answers we can’t ensure that an accident like this can’t happen again.”

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