Concertgoers in Hong Kong were left stunned when a suspended video screen fell onto the stage injuring two dancers at a performance by the popular Cantopop boyband Mirror on Thursday night.
Screams erupted in the Hong Kong Coliseum when the massive screen appeared to come loose from one of two metal cords suspending it in the air. The edge of the screen landed directly on top of one dancer before falling over flat onto another.
Performers and staff rushed the stage to provide aid. The sold-out concert was stopped and fans were asked to leave the venue.
According to local media reports, the dancer who was struck first, Lee Kai-yin (also called Ah Mo), is in serious condition. As of Friday, he was still in the intensive care unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. One Hong Kong newspaper reported the dancer fractured the third and fourth vertebrae in his neck and claimed his limbs were also paralyzed. It remains unclear whether Qiyan will regain mobility of his limbs.
The second dancer struck by the screen reportedly obtained minor injuries and was discharged from hospital on Friday.
None of the 12 members of the boyband Mirror were injured in the incident.
Several outlets reported that fans were visibly shaken by the accident, with many seen crying and even fainting at the venue.
The concert organizer MakerVille has pledged to investigate the incident. The eight remaining Mirror concerts in their 12-show run have been cancelled and tickets will be refunded.
The Hong Kong secretary for culture, sports and tourism, Kevin Yeung, revealed during a press conference on Friday that faulty suspension cords caused the screen to fall.
“We take this incident very seriously, because the safety of the performance stage is very important,” he said in Cantonese at the press conference.
Yeung also claimed that government personnel would help investigate how the screen fell in order to ensure safety for future performances at the Hong Kong Coliseum, which is managed by the country’s government.
Chris Sun, the secretary for labour and welfare, also spoke at the press conference, claiming the government will pursue legal action if the investigation deems it necessary.
“Today, we issued a temporary suspension notice, requesting that all work under the original suspension devices be halted,” Sun said in Cantonese.
The horrifying accident was only the latest of several safety concerns voiced by fans and staff about the series of concerts.
On Tuesday, one Mirror group member, Frankie Chan Sui-fai, reportedly fell off the stage, prompting over 13,000 fans to sign a petition demanding improved safety measures be put in place.
Fans also complained about visibly wobbly platforms and improper technical cues causing Mirror members and background dancers to stumble and fall during earlier shows.
Vice News reported one dancer fell into a hole and was sent to hospital during a dress rehearsal on Monday. Several of the other dancers on the tour then uploaded black screens to Instagram in protest of the working conditions.
An unnamed member of the production crew spoke to Vice News, claiming there was not enough time to even run a full dress rehearsal for the show before concerts began.
“There wasn’t enough time and everything was hastily done,” the crewmember said. “They might have underestimated the complexity of the performance and contraptions.”