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Friday, 23 March, 2001, 07:59 GMT
Five injured at Oscars venue
Scaffold collapse at Oscars
Scaffold supports a sunscreen close to public stands
Five workers have been injured after scaffolding erected for Sunday's Oscar ceremony collapsed outside the venue.

The scaffolding was behind the stands built for fans who watch the arriving stars outside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Two of the injured men were on the scaffolding when the 40-foot structure built to support a red sunscreen shading the red carpet arrival area collapsed.

Shrine
The scaffolding collapsed close to the famous red carpet
The sun screen buckled without warning, possibly because of a gust of wind, security officials have said.

One of the workers was seriously hurt, receiving neck and back injuries. The other men had minor cuts and bruises.

"Everybody just started screaming, saying 'Watch out!' 'Watch out!','' said Harvest Smith, an Oscar production worker who witnessed the collapse.

BBC Liquid News correspondent Stephanie West, who is in Los Angeles covering the Oscars, said she was surprised by the extent of the damage.

"We were surprised at how mangled it looked. It really was a mess of steel.

"Some of the stand was completely upturned, right next to the red carpet."

Shrine Auditorium
The ceremony will continue as planned
John Pavlik, spokesman for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences which organises the Oscars, said the ceremony would go ahead as planned.

"No, it will not delay the ceremony at all," he told a press conference.

"We actually were a little bit ahead of schedule today, so we are not terribly concerned about getting back on schedule," he added.

All of the injured men, whose names have not been released, were working on stage constructon and rigging.

BBC Choice's Liquid News will broadcast live from the red carpet at the Shrine Auditorium on Friday evening at 2030 GMT

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The BBC's Jonny Dymond
"One man is said to have been trapped underneath the scaffolding after it fell"
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