Madonna’s Stage Collapses In France, Killing One

Workers were building the stage for Sunday's show in Marseille.

One person was killed Thursday (July 16) when a stage being built for Sunday’s [artist id=”1098″]Madonna[/artist] concert in Marseille, France, collapsed. The Associated Press reported that in addition to one death, six workers were injured in the accident.

According to reports, the stage for the singer’s Sticky and Sweet show at the 60,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome fell apart while under construction around 5:15 p.m. local time (11:15 a.m. ET), with two of the workers suffering serious injuries and all six of those hurt taken to local hospitals. At press time, authorities did not know what caused the accident.

Madonna issued the following statement about the collapse, according to TMZ: “I am devastated to have just received this tragic news. My prayers go out to those who were injured and their families along with my deepest sympathy to all those affected by this heartbreaking news.”

BBC News reported that Marseille city councilor Maurice Di Nocera said the frame of the stage “started shaking and collapsing” before the accident.

The concert has been canceled in the wake of the collapse. The stage that the singer has been taking around the world for the past year includes a giant revolving platform with an oversize silver and black throne, a DJ deck, a JumboTron screen on which Britney Spears makes her nightly virtual cameo and multi-level risers on which Madonna jumps rope and spars in a mini boxing ring.

The back of the stage is two-tiered, and the front of the stage at the end of the catwalk is a square with a circle in it that rises up and spins around. The catwalk comes into play most prominently in the show when Madonna is wheeled out in an ornate white antique car for the virtual Kanye West duet “Beat Goes On,” riding in the vehicle from the back of the stage out onto the turntable in the audience and then spinning around 180 degrees and riding back to the main stage. Hydraulics lift it up and move it around.

A number of large, moving screens serve as the background during the show, as well as smaller ones on wheels that the singer dances with during a virtual duet with Justin Timberlake on “Four Minutes.”

[This story was originally published on 7.16.09 at 2:25 p.m. ET]

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