First, before any of this news gets read, my thoughts and condolences go out to the families of 23 year old Charles Prow and 53 year old Charles Criscenzo, the two technicians killed so far in the Madonna roof collapse that took place on Thursday – my wife posted the initial article on Thursday. Reports are sketchy as to the number of injured, but I have read that it's between five and eleven serious injuries and 35 to 45 shock and minor injuries. I hope they all recover quickly.
Here's what I know so far – a roof structure on Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, France collapsed. Obviously there is an investigation on this tragedy, but the buzz being ported around is that a crane hoisting the roof also failed, apparently while it was being hoisted up. The city councilman Maurice Di Nocera said that the roof structure on the stage "started shaking and collapsing" gradually.
I hate this kind of news. I'd much rather talk about pretty much anything other than people getting hurt and killed while trying to install entertainment.
Just a common sense reminder for anyone working with any kind of lighting gear (or any kind of gear period), no matter how expensive – if you're about to be in a situation where gear is going to be damaged and you could be hurt, get out of that situation right away. Equipment is insured and can be replaced or sent to the shop. Your precious life cannot be benched. I would bet a kidney that any manufacturer or supplier out there would rather see damaged gear than attend a funeral any day.
I have a little bit of video on this tragedy – one from the BBC, and another from YouTube.
The company hired to put this rig up was ES Group out of London.