Opera chief wins appeal over concert floor collapse

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Opera chief wins appeal over concert floor collapse

The chief executive of the Norrland Opera House, Magnus Aspegren, has been cleared by the appeals court of any responsibility in connection with the floor collapse at a rock concert at the Umeå opera house in 2007.


The Svea Court of Appeal has thus overturned a ruling by Umeå District Court to fine Aspegren 60,000 kronor ($7,550) for negligence and causing criminal injury as a result of the floor collapse which left several people hurt.

"It would have been tough if the appeals court had also gone against me. I think that the court has reached a reasonable decision," said Aspegren, who is now the head of the University College of Opera in Stockholm.

725 tickets were sold to the concert by Swedish rock band Mando Diao in the Norrland Opera House in Umeå on January 27th 2007.

The floor, based on a raised steel construction, gave way under the feet of a large group of people dancing in front of the stage in the Black Box room, and more than 60 members of the audience fell over 2 metres to the floor below.

Twenty-five people were taken to hospital with three of them sustaining fractures. The others were less seriously injured.

The incident report indicated that the collapse happened when several beams caved in. The report also showed that several more of the metal beams holding up a further two sections of the floor were also close to collapsing.

"The accident has taught us, and probably many others as well, to have a better check on what is required when you supervise premises where a lot of people are gathered. We have thought through several aspects. We consider that we have done what we could and that we have reached settlements with all those who were injured," Aspegren said, expressing relief at his successful appeal.

Magnus Aspegren was replaced as chief executive of the Norrland Opera on August 1st by Kjell Englund.


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