Fans injured at Olympic concert

By MATT KIELTYKA, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER -- Twenty concert goers were injured when a barricade at the LiveCity Yaletown venue broke under a "surge" from the crowd seconds into a set by rock band Alexisonfire.

Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem told media late Tuesday night that most of the people hurt during the ordeal suffered minor injuries, but one person may have broken their leg.

"(Medics) were immediately on site and basically triaged out in the range of 19 to 20 individuals," Ballem said. "They were taken to the tent and assessed, and nine have been transported to hospital."

Live Nation president Paul Haagenson said the crowd of "kids" was very excited and enthusiastic when Alexisonfire took the stage for their 9 p.m. free show at the official city Olympic celebration site.

But chaos broke out when the barrier separating the fans from the stage broke at one point, causing a number of fans to fall down and get trampled under the weight of the advancing crowd.

"The band immediately stopped playing," said Haagenson. "At that point we decided to cancel the show, taking into account the safety of the fans and kids in the audience."

The entire venue, which had over 7,000 people inside, was evacuated while emergency personnel dealt with the injured fans.

Ballem, who called the barrier break "unprecedented", said organizers are actively seeking a replacement barrier and will look into any possible safety improvements.

"We're now assessing the situation -- and figuring out how we can open this site up tomorrow if all goes well."

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