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Fan suffers ‘catastrophic’ injuries at concert

A concertgoer suffered a “catastrophic” spinal cord injury after a frontman stage dived into the crowd at a show in the US.

Bird Piché, 24, was attending a gig by Australian punk rock band Trophy Eyes at the Mohawk Place club in Buffalo, New York, on 30 April when the incident took place.

Discussing the “tragic accident” in a post on X, the group said: “We elected to immediately shut down the show as John [Floreani, singer] accompanied them to the hospital with their family.

“Out of respect for the family, we have refrained from speaking about this publicly so far, but with the blessing of their family we are now able to say how truly heartbroken we are to be here now.

“Our friend, Bird, is now in recovery, but still has a long road ahead for them. This situation has shaken us all to our care and we ask for patience while we look to help Bird navigate this difficult time.”

Piché has undergone extensive surgery for her injuries, and Trophy Eyes have donated $5,000 to a GoFundMe page set up to help with her medical bills. More than US$65,000 has already been raised towards its $100,000 target.

“Our policy and practiced procedure is a full show stop for any stage diving which was put into place for this incident”

“She has a long recovery ahead and will need all the help she can get,” reads the page, which was set up by friends Stephanie Brown and Leo Wolters Tejera. “It is still too early to know what her prognosis is but after leaving the hospital she will need to go to a rehab facility. She will obviously not be able to work during this time.

“The funds will be used for medical bills and anything she may need to function in life because of the accident.”

Tejera tells WGRZ that footage was captured on camera.

“The video is wild because unless you knew that someone was hurt in the video, you’d never expect that,” he says. “Like it’s just an average stage dive. The video that I saw on Facebook and then another angle surfaced on a Reddit thread, both of them just seem fairly innocuous.”

Mohawk Place manager Mike Thor says the venue has rules in place around moshing and stage diving.

“There are signs posted everywhere in the venue and notice was included in the emails for this show with the show’s promoter and the band themselves,” says Thor, as per Heavy Consequence. “Our policy and practiced procedure is a full show stop for any stage diving which was put into place for this incident. Currently we are working to put together a charity show to help the injured party with their GoFundMe.”

 


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Fines levied over Hong Kong video screen collapse

Three companies have been fined in connection with the incident in which a giant video screen fell on two dancers during a concert in Hong Kong.

One dancer was critically injured in the incident, which took place during a show by Cantopop boy band Mirror at Hong Kong Coliseum on 28 July 2022. A second dancer was also hospitalised but not seriously injured.

An investigation also found that another dancer suffered injuries to his chest, knee and neck after falling up to three metres during a rehearsal for the first concert on 25 July after an elevating platform failed to ascend to the stage.

The South China Morning Post reports that contractor Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company (HHLSEC) was fined HK$420,000 (€49.350) by a magistrate at Kowloon City Court last week after admitting six counts of failing to ensure the safety of their employees, failing to ensure that devices were safe and failing to notify authorities of accidents.

Two other firms, main contractor Engineering Impact and the Studiodanz Company, were fined $220,000 and $132,000, respectively, last November.

In mitigation for HHLSEC, Kelvin Lai Kin-wah told the court the accident was “extremely unfortunate” and the company, which had worked on thousands of events, expressed “extreme remorse”.

However, acting principal magistrate David Ko Wai-hung said Hip Hing Loong was critical of the firm’s practice of only carrying out visual inspections of suspended stage installations, stressing that it  had an “unshirkable responsibility” to ensure the system could bear the weight of the LED screen.

“As stage designs become more innovative and complicated, the greater the need for professionals to supervise and manage the equipment”

“I would call this an industry loophole,” he said. “Just because it has not happened before, does not mean it will not happen in the future. As stage designs become more innovative and complicated, the greater the need for professionals to supervise and manage the equipment, instead of just relying on experience.”

In its official report released last year, a government task force concluded a wire rope tied to the LED panel snapped due to “metal fatigue”.

It stated: “The causes include (1) inferior conditions of the rope, with the breaking strength of the wire rope being lower than the lowest breaking strength of a normal one; (2) the actual weight of the LED panel being much heavier than what was reported; (3) a problematic winch installation system making the rope guard difficult to rotate, causing damage to the rope surface and inducing extra load on the rope, leading to plastic deformation; and (4) poor workmanship on the assembly and installation of the LED panel suspension system.”

Engineering Impact pleaded guilty last year to four offences, including failing to ensure that devices were safe, failing to notify the occupational safety officer of a serious accident within 24 hours and failing to give notice of an accident. Studiodanz admitted five offences, including failing to ensure the health and safety of employees, failing to give notice of accidents to employees and failing to provide them insurance coverage.

The performance by Mirror was part of a planned 12-concert run by the 12-member group. The remaining shows in the series were cancelled.

Mirror, who formed in 2018, launched their Feel The Passion Tour last week, starting off 16 shows at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld Arena between 15 January and 3 February. They will then visit the UK in March for shows at The O2 in London and Manchester’s AO Arena, with dates to follow in Macau, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Toronto.

 


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