On Feb. 16, 2010, just moments after Alexisonfire hit the stage at the David Lam Park live site — aka LiveCity Yaletown — a barricade collapsed and 19 people were injured. Nine were taken to hospital. Though not a VANOC venue, it was an official celebratory site and this was the most serious incident of its type during the Games.
The band immediately curtailed the concert and members even came to the rescue of the injured. A noble gesture. The right thing to do.
But evidence obtained by me shows that the City of Vancouver put concert-goers’ lives in jeopardy. One security guard suffered a serious leg injury, according to WorkSafeBC documents.
The city’s daily operations group meeting just over 12 hours BEFORE the incident indicated that there were serious crowd control and safety issues at the live site. It was too popular and its maximum capacity was unknown. Officials learned that the emergency exits had been locked and nobody knew where the key was!
Media was told there were 7,600 people at the show, but officials didn’t really know how many people were there. Two days later, a “certified professional” set 9,000 as the maximum capacity.
City hall, under Mayor Gregor Robertson and city manager/VANOC director Penny Ballem, skated ever-so close to death and disaster on Feb. 16, 2010.
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.