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Authorities investigate safety precautions at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, following the death of a worker during event set-up
By Anna Grace on 16 May 2019
The family of a production worker killed during the set up of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest at the Expo Tel Aviv fairgrounds in Israel has questioned safety measures in place for the show.
Fuldi Schwartz, a 66-year old truck driver, was fatally injured by a falling lighting rig when unloading equipment in a car park adjacent to the fairgrounds on Wednesday 15 May.
“We don’t blame anyone at this point, but how is it possible that at an event as large as Eurovision, with so much money invested, so much supervision and security, something so terrible can still happen?” Schwartz’s son, Erez, asked Israeli news site Ynet.
“How is it possible that at an event as large as Eurovision something so terrible can still happen?”
Police and officials from the Welfare Ministry’s safety and workplace health department have launched a formal investigation into the incident. According to local media reports, initial findings reveal that the lighting rig was not handled according to safety regulations.
Eurovision organisers say they are “greatly saddened by the death”, stating that “our priority is always for the safety and security of everyone involved with the Eurovision Song Contest and, in line with protocol, we are cooperating with the authorities.”
The incident follows another death earlier this year at Coachella festival, when the event’s lead rigger fell to his death. In April, an inquest into the death of a Radiohead drum technician resulted in a set of recommendations to update best practice in the live entertainment industry. Drum tech Scott Johnson was killed when a stage roof collapsed before a Radiohead show in 2012.
The second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place tonight from 8 p.m. (GMT). The final is scheduled for this Saturday (18 May).
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