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    Default Two Fatal Collapses ....

    In the news today ....

    2 dead after Madonna stage collapse in France

    Agence France-Presse
    July 17, 2009 2:08 PM
    StoryPhotos ( 1 )Video ( 1 ) ICON
    Madonna, shown here performing on July 4, 2009, says she feels "so devastated to be in any way associated with anyone’s suffering.

    "Photograph by: Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

    MARSEILLE, France - A British man died of his injuries after the collapse of a stage being built for a Madonna concert in southern France, hospital officials said Friday, bringing the toll to two dead.


    Charles Prow, a technician on Madonna's concert team, died in hospital Thursday night. Prow was 23 according to the British consulate in Marseille. The embassy earlier said he was 22, while French officials gave his age as 32.


    A 53-year-old French worker, Charles Criscenzo, was killed on the spot when the giant structure collapsed during the set-up for the Sunday concert in the port city of Marseille, which was cancelled in the wake of the disaster.


    Eight people had major injuries, prosecutor Marc Cimamonti said Friday, including an American who was hospitalized in a life-threatening condition and seven others who were seriously hurt.


    Some 36 people suffered minor injuries and shock.


    Madonna was scheduled to perform in the 60,000-seater Stade Velodrome after playing to a crowd of 15,000 in Paris last week, the latest stops in her almost year-long "Sticky and Sweet" world tour.


    Firefighters said the roof of the giant stage became unbalanced as it was being lifted into place by four cranes, toppling one of the cranes which fell crashing onto the 60-tonne metal-and-cable structure below.


    Most of the victims were technicians working on the stage set-up.


    The US pop star, who was warming up for a concert in Udine, Italy when she heard of the accident, said she was "devastated."


    Madonna paid an emotional tribute to the two men as she performed in Udine later Thursday night.


    "I just want to take a moment to acknowledge and pay tribute to two people who lost their lives today," she said according to footage of the concert posted on the Internet.


    "Two men lost their lives, which is a great tragedy to me," Madonna told her fans as she choked back tears.


    "I feel so devastated to be in any way associated with anyone's suffering. So let's all just take a moment to say a prayer for Charles Criscenzo and Charlie Prow."


    "Our hearts go out to their families and their loved ones," said the singer.


    Prow's family, from the northern English city of Leeds, contacted the BBC, saying he was "a much-loved son, grandson, brother, uncle and friend."


    "Charles was a happy-go-lucky guy with a big personality and he will be deeply missed," said a representative of the family.


    French officials have opened an investigation for manslaughter, and experts have started interviewing some 50 workers and witnesses and studying the scene of the accident at the country's second biggest sports arena.


    Post-mortem examinations were to be carried late Friday and investigators are trying to determine whether the various subcontractors for concert organizer Live Nation had followed all proper safety procedures.


    Marseille prosecutors said it was still too soon to venture an explanation for the disaster, with interviews set to continue through the weekend.


    "It doesn't seem that it was a sudden fall," said Cimamonti, adding that the structure seemed to have wobbled rather than dropped straight down. "A sudden fall would have led to a much larger toll."


    Ticket reimbursements for the concert would begin on Monday, Madonna's publicists said.

    © Copyright (c) AFP
    From Rock and Roll Daily: http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdail...llapse-begins/


    Criminal Investigation Into Madonna Stage Collapse Begins
    7/17/09, 5:51 pm EST

    French prosecutors have launched a manslaughter investigation into the stage collapse that killed two and injured dozens in Marseille this week, the U.K.’s Times Online reports. Workers were building the stage for Madonna’s July 19th Sticky & Sweet show when a crane gave way, causing a crush of rubble that claimed the lives of harles Criscenzo of France and Charles Prow, from England. The concert, which would have been attended by 40,000, has been canceled and Madonna issued a teary statement from the stage in Italy last night.

    TMZ reports that the company responsible for constructing Madonna’s stage in Marseille is the same team that built her stage at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium, which also collapsed in November 2008. A representative for the company, E S Group, issued a statement that reads:

    “We were incredibly saddened by the tragic accident during the construction of a stage at the Velodrome at Marseille. Our thoughts at this current time go out to the families and loved ones of the two men who died and to those who have been injured.

    Two of our Directors have flown out to Marseille to visit the injured and to get a better understanding of what caused the accident. At present, it would not be appropriate to speculate on potential causes of the accident, but we are working closely with the French authorities to investigate what caused this incident. This is normal practice for such an incident and we will provide a further update as soon as it is possible.

    There is absolutely no technical or other connection between the incident at the Dodgers Stadium in November 2008 and the tragic accident yesterday (July 16 2009) at the Velodrome in Marseille.”

    The Times Online reports that investigators will be interviewing witnesses and reviewing video and contracts to help determine whether safety procedures were followed during the stage’s construction. The accident happened while the top of the stage was being lifted by four cranes.

    Rolling Stone
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    And yesterday ...

    Falling concrete kills woman at Peel St. sushi bar

    Victim was celebrating birthday with her husband
    By Max Harrold, Jan Ravensbergen, Drew Halfnight and Philip Authier, The Gazette

    July 16, 2009
    Comments (7)
    StoryPhotos ( 7 )
    More Images » A piece of concrete lies next to the covered body of a woman, who was struck and killed by a concrete panel while she ate dinner with her companion at Mikasa Sushi Bar on Peel St. in Montreal on July 16, 2009. The panel fell from the 18th floor of the Marriott Residence Hotel.

    Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

    MONTREAL - One minute Thursday night, a couple was quietly celebrating a birthday inside the Mikasa Sushi Bar on Peel St.; the next minute, a concrete slab crashed through the glass skylight above them, killing the 33-year-old woman instantly.

    Her husband of two years, also 33, lay next to her lifeless body screaming, “Ma femme! Ma femme! Stay with me!”

    He pleaded for help, but other diners and staff were paralyzed with shock. Minutes later, sobbing and screaming, the man was loaded into an ambulance, his right hand wrapped in a blood-soaked napkin, two single tracks of blood running down his cheek.

    An emergency-room nurse at the Montreal General Hospital said the man was brought into the hospital covered in his wife’s blood. “It was everywhere.”

    She said the man, who sustained serious injuries to his right hand, was in a secluded room in the ER surrounded by family.

    “Her birthday was Monday, that’s what they were celebrating,” said the nurse, who spoke on condition that her name not be published. The concrete panel from the 18th floor of the Marriott Residence Inn crashed through the sloping glass ceiling of the restaurant, which lies directly below at street level, and hit the woman “directly” – while she was seated at her table, said Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe.

    Urgences Santé ambulance technicians determined that the woman could not be saved, Lapointe said.

    Her body was left at the table where she died until a little after 9 p.m., when the coroner arrived. Lapointe wouldn’t disclose the couple’s name, nor would the nurse who spoke to The Gazette. Stunned bystanders milled beyond the police tape that blocked off the sidewalk and street in front of the building. Glass and other debris, including what appeared to the the base of a dining table, were on the sidewalk. Police had converged on the scene in patrol cars and on bicycles and Segways.

    “At first view,” police are considering the death accidental, Lapointe said after investigators emerged from the hotel.

    From the gap left on the building’s facade, the slab appeared to have been about one metre wide and two metres long.

    Firefighters were examining the building’s facade to determine whether it was safe, Lapointe said. Municipal inspectors will take a closer look at the building, he said.

    The restaurant’s manager, Truc Luong, said his employees were shaken by what they witnessed and weren’t in “good shape” Thursday night.

    He said one waiter was at the couple’s table when the concrete slab crashed through the glass ceiling. Luong, who arrived at the restaurant about half an hour after the accident, spent the evening making sure his employees all got a lift home.

    Lindsay Leblanc lives in the hotel above the sushi restaurant. She and three friends were smoking on the hotel’s roof when the concrete broke loose. “We heard the bang. We thought it was thunder,” Leblanc said. “Or a car accident.”

    When she and her friends arrived at street level, they could hear people crying.

    Justine Lafond climbed out of a cab in front of Mikasa moments after the concrete struck. “I saw this woman lying on her side,” she said. “There was blood all around. I saw a piece of bone coming through her body.

    “There was someone touching her to see if she was alive."

    Lafond said she spoke to the waiter who had served the couple. “He said they were very much in love,” and that the woman was kind and friendly, Lafond said. “I saw lots of people running out of the restaurant, screaming and crying,” said Lafond’s companion, Marie Fidčle.

    Clearly shaken, she said she arrived by taxi “almost right after it happened.”

    “I couldn’t bring myself to go look. We were all asking each other what happened.”

    Dana Citron was on Sherbrooke St. when the slab fell. After her mother heard a “crashing sound,” the two rounded the corner onto Peel to see what happened. Citron said she saw a man lying down, yelling and gesturing desperately near a woman who was not moving.

    “They pulled the husband onto his side,” she said. “He was bleeding.”

    Another man, who works at a building next door, arrived at the same time. He heard yelling and saw people standing around in shock. “In a state of panic like that, I think no one knows what to do,” he said.

    The area in front of the building will remain closed to passersby until it is deemed safe, Lapointe said.

    Bev Harding of Guelph, Ont., shepherding a group of more than a dozen teenage swimmers back to the hotel from a competition, was barred from the front entrance. “I guess we’ll try to go around back,” she said. The hotel did not need to be evacuated, Lapointe said.


    Were you there? Do you have pictures of the incident? Share your stories with us.

    © Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Wow...complete tragedies, both times. As regards the Canadian accident where the concrete fell on the woman: I have to say "well done" to the newspaper for really getting ALOT of eyewitness accounts.

    My goodness, it seemed like they interviewed just about anyone who might have something useful to contribute. I like getting multiple vantage points when I'm reading a story like that. It helps fill in some of the gaps.

    I wish American papers were as thorough. Either way, sorry to hear about the losses that their families are enduring. My thoughts.
    Pete

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