Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 12:03 UK

Madonna stage accident kills two

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Aftermath of the stage collapse at the 60,000 seater Velodrome

A second person has died following the collapse of a stage being constructed for a Madonna concert in France.

Charles Prow, a 23-year-old from Headingley in Leeds, died overnight at a hospital in Marseille.

Technicians had been setting up the stage at the city's Velodrome stadium when the partially-built roof fell in on Thursday, bringing down a crane.

Madonna said she was "devastated" by the news. Her concert, planned for Sunday, has been cancelled.

Charles Criscenzo, a 53-year-old French worker, was killed outright in the accident, which took place at around 1715 (1615 BST).

Eight other people were seriously hurt, including an American who was hospitalised in a life-threatening condition.

More than 30 people suffered minor injuries and shock, according to authorities.

'Shaking and collapsing'

The 60,000-seater Velodrome is France's second-biggest sports arena and home to the Olympique de Marseille football club.

Firefighters said the accident occurred when the roof of the stage became unbalanced as it was being lifted by four cranes, toppling one of them.

Madonna performs during her concert on 11 July in Belgium
The planned concert was part of Madonna's Sticky and Sweet tour

About 50 people from a range of nationalities were working to set up the structure, city sports official Richard Miron said.

The roof "started shaking and collapsing" gradually, said Marseille city councillor Maurice Di Nocera.

"Since it did not collapse right away that allowed several people to get out," he said.

Madonna, who is performing on her Sticky and Sweet tour, was in Udine, Italy, when she was told of the incident.

"I am devastated to have just received this tragic news," she said in a statement released by Live Nation, the organisers of the concert.

"My prayers go out to those who were injured and their families, along with my deepest sympathy to all those affected by this heartbreaking news."

Mr Prow's family have contacted the BBC, saying he was "a much-loved son, grandson, brother, uncle and friend".

'Great tragedy'

"Charles was a happy-go-lucky guy with a big personality and he will be deeply missed," said a representative.

Footage posted online shows Madonna making an emotional tribute to the technicians at her concert in Italy on Thursday.

"I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and pay tribute to two people who lost their lives today," she told fans at the Fruili Stadium in Udine.

"It's a great tragedy to me," she continued, choking back tears. "I feel so devastated to be in any way associated with anyone's suffering.

"Let's all just take a moment to say a prayer for Charles Criscenzo and Charlie Prow. Our hearts go out to their family and loved ones."



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