Inquest finds three companies negligent for Linkin Park concert goer's death

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The area where the scaffolding collapsed at the Linkin Park concert. (ER24)
The area where the scaffolding collapsed at the Linkin Park concert. (ER24)

Cape Town - On November 7, 2012, 32-year-old Florentina Popa died from injuries caused when a scaffolding tower fell on her before a Linkin Park rock concert in Cape Town.

Now, four years, and eight months after her death, a Cape Town inquest has ruled that the three companies who played a role in putting up the scaffolding tower wrapped with advertisements are guilty of an offence.

Popa, who was on her way to the concert at the Cape Town Stadium, died of open blunt force trauma to the head when the tower blew over and fell on her.

Nineteen other people were injured, with 12 requiring hospitalisation.

The inquest findings into Popa's death were delivered on Friday.

READ: Probe into death at Linkin Park concert

Magistrate Ingrid Arntse said the companies who constructed and set up the advertising tower should have foreseen that even moderate winds could have blown it over.

She referred to evidence presented to the inquest by Dr Adam Goliger of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

"Goliger's evidence is that winds with speeds of up to 15 metres per second were eminently foreseeable in Cape Town, and the towers could have been designed and constructed in such a way as to withstand the winds that were recorded on the day of the concert," she said.

"It would appear, then, from all the evidence, that while the wind did come up and create problems, there was no real fear on the part of anyone in authority at the concert that the towers would blow over."

The inquest was set up to determine whether Popa had died because of an "act or omission that prima facie involves or amounts to an offence" by any of the companies involved with the scaffolding.

Arntsen found that Vertex Scaffolding CC, Bothma Signs and Hirt & Carter (Pty) Ltd had been negligent, and could be "causally linked" to her death.

Bothma Signs had not replied to a request for comment by News24 at the time of publication.

Vertex Scaffolding CC and Hirt & Carter (Pty) Ltd could not be reached for comment.

Arnsten found that Big Concerts, who organised the event, was not responsible.

Following the accident, Linkin Park paid tribute to Popa.

"Though we have had no relationship with the sponsor or the entity responsible for erecting the structure, we take the safety of our fans very seriously and our thoughts are with all of those who were affected by this tragedy," the band said in a statement.


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