Second man dies after Madonna show stage collapse

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:30pm EDT
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MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - A British worker died in hospital after being injured by a collapsing stage that was being built for a Madonna concert in the southern French city of Marseille, authorities said on Friday.

His death raises the toll from Thursday's collapse to two after a French worker was killed on the spot. Eight other workers were injured, five seriously.

Pop star Madonna had been scheduled to play the concert on Sunday but it was canceled immediately after the incident.

Part of the roof over the stage collapsed mid-afternoon on Thursday. A police source said one of the four cranes used to erect the stage slipped, causing the roof to buckle.

Marseille public prosecutors have launched an inquiry.

"Accounts from more than 50 people will be heard and the hearings will begin from Thursday evening," Marc Cimamonti, deputy prosecutor of Marseille, told a news conference.

"It is important to understand the material sequence of events and the responsibilities of each person. But 24 hours after the accident, it is totally premature to make any hypotheses," he said.

Madonna, who was in Italy at the time, issued a statement saying she was devastated by the news.

Marseille city authorities said all the victims worked for Live Nation, the company which was preparing the show.

(Reporting by Francois Revilla, writing by Tamora Vidaillet; editing by Robin Pomeroy)

<p>A French fire brigade truck exists the Velodrome stadium in Marseille after a stage being constructed for a Madonna concert collapsed in the southern French city of Marseille killing one person and injuring six, July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Vincent Beaume</p>