Tragedy struck in Esteio, Southern Brazil, as high winds at the Atmosphere music and dance festival caused a massive stage structure to collapse on Sunday, killing a DJ who was performing.
Brazilian DJ Kaleb Freitas was performing to a crowd of approximately 5000 people, when high winds from a passing storm toppled the steel stage. Freitas suffered head wounds after being struck by debris from the collapse. He was transported to a local hospital but pronounced dead on arrival, according to the local newspaper Gauchazh.
Although other festivalgoers were reportedly treated for injuries, there are conflicting reports about how many people were hospitalized, according to NPR.
Firefighters said the festival had all the necessary permits in place, according to the New York Daily News, but TMZ said an investigation has been launched as to why the festival didn’t shut down despite severe weather warnings about the gale force winds.
A statement from Atmosphere’s organizers posted Sunday on Facebook reads:
We always cherish for the safety of our public, following all the processes, reports and authorizations requested by the local authorities.
And our public will keep them informed of all our actions to keep the truth about the events occurred.
Anyway, we are desolate, we lost a friend, an artist. Our priority is to assist the wounded and their families.
We thank the Military Brigade and the Fire Brigade for the entire assistance.
The statement was accompanied by a photo with a black ribbon and the word “LUTO,” which means mourning in Portuguese.
The terrible tragedy hauntingly echoes a similar collapse in Ontario, Canada in 2012, when Radiohead drum technician Scott Johnson was killed. Last month, Ontario’s coroner opened an investigation into Johnson’s death after charges against the concert’s organizers were stayed in September.