Engineer says plans for Radiohead stage that collapsed had sloppy mistakes

first_imgTORONTO — An engineer who approved the plans for a stage that collapsed before a Radiohead concert in Toronto says the drawings contained “very sloppy” mistakes.Domenic Cugliari is testifying at a coroner’s inquest into the death of Scott Johnson, a drum technician who was killed when the structure came crashing down just hours before the show was set to start on June 16, 2012.Cugliari says the stage plans didn’t spell out how to attach beams to the trusses in the roof grid and included “conceptual drawings” that should not have been submitted to the contractor.He says there were also inconsistencies that would likely have been caught if another engineer had reviewed the documents.Cugliari, contractor Optex Staging and the show’s promoter, Live Nation, were charged under provincial health and safety laws in connection with the incident but the case was halted because it took too long to get to trial.The case was thrown off course when the presiding judge was appointed to a higher court, prompting another judge to declare a mistrial. The court eventually agreed with the defence that the delays had violated the accused’s rights to a timely trial.The inquest, which began Monday, will examine the circumstances around Johnson’s death but cannot assign blame. Jurors may make recommendations aimed at preventing such incidents in the future.In his testimony Friday, Cugliari said it would be helpful to have a second engineer look over plans before they are approved and sent to the client.In this case, Cugliari said it was easy to “become complacent” because he was dealing with Optex, a regular client he knew well.“It’s easy to miss something like this because you know the people putting (the stage) up,” he said.He said there should also be special training in university for engineers who work on stages for performances.The inquest previously heard from a Ministry of Labour engineer who helped investigate the collapse, who testified the pickup trusses — metal structures that bore the brunt of the weight of the roof grid — were “the weakest link” in the setup.Saeed Khoorsand said the pickup trusses were the first pieces to fail as the roof gave way. He also said some of the materials used at the site didn’t match what was on the plans.Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Presslast_img read more