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Witnesses tell of Cape concert tragedy

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By Wendyl Martin, Murray Williams And Sapa

Cape Town - Linkin Park concert-goers have recounted the moments before and after tragedy struck at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.

A woman attending the concert died of her injuries after temporary scaffolding collapsed in high winds outside the venue. At least 20 people were injured.

The 33-year-old woman worked at a city hotel. She died in Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in the city.

She has not been formally identified as her parents have not yet been informed of her death.

The woman’s husband, who was with her on Wednesday night, said he was considering legal action.

 

The concert-goers were hurt when two Lucozade-branded towers fell during strong south-easterly winds.

 

Sources said all stadium events had exhaustive safety plans and the emergency was immediately co-ordinated by the Venue Operations Centre.

Ambulances from the province’s emergency medical services and private ambulance companies ferried the injured to hospital.

On the scene on Wednesday night Nicole Barlow told the Cape Argus she had been standing between the two sponsored towers that fell on the south side of the stadium.

She and Ashley Barlow had been handing out samples of the energy drink earlier in the day. The women said gazebos had been erected too, but they had been packed away because of the wind.

This morning Barlow wrote on Facebook: “Still can’t believe what happened. Knowing that you were 5cm away from possibly being killed is crazy. Hope everyone and especially the Lucozade girls and the fans who got injured so badly and are currently in critical condition have the strength to fight it through, and to the family of the fan who passed away you have my deepest condolences, R.I.P.”

Meanwhile, concertgoer and nurse, Justine Butler told EWN how she tried to help comfort the woman who eventually died.

“She was probably the first person that I came up to. She was right in front of me in the ground and she had serious injuries.”

According to EWN, Western Cape Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said several people are still being treated in hospital.

“They sustained fractures to their hands, legs and spine. The doctors will later today decide how long they will be kept in hospital.”

Event organiser Big Concerts said as the incident was outside the stadium, it fell under the jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town.

The city said in a statement on Thursday night that the structure had been pre-approved and certified safe by structural engineers prior to the event.

After their performance on Wednesday night Linkin Park posted a message of condolence on their blog, saying: “We wish to express our deep sadness and concern for those injured and our heartfelt condolences to the family of the fan who died as a result of her injuries.”

The concert went ahead despite the incident.

Cape Argus, IOL

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