7,000 Concertgoers Evacuated and 20 Fans Injured During Free Alexisonfire Show at Vancouver Olympics

BY E.D. CauchiPublished Feb 17, 2010

Once again, the safety of the Vancouver Olympics has come into question, but this time it's the spectators who have come into harm's way, not the athletes.

More than 7,000 concertgoers were evacuated from a free Alexisonfire concert at the LiveCity Yaletown venue in Vancouver Tuesday night (February 16), following a "surge" from the crowd that broke one of the venue's barricades.

As Canoe reports, an estimated 20 attendees were injured during the incident, one with a possibly broken leg. Following the incident, which took place only seconds into Alexisonfire's set, medics on site found most individuals suffered only minor injuries but transported nine people to hospital.

The problem came about when a barrier in front of the stage broke down causing a domino of fans to fall forward and get trampled on.

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

Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem insists the break was "unprecedented" and that they're working on improving safety measures to have the official Olympic celebration site functional for more events today.

In a MySpace blog posting, Alexisonfire issued the following statement: "We always take great care in the safety of our fans and are saddened that this happened. We are sincerely sorry that people were injured. We want to thank the security team, paramedics and police for their quick reaction. We especially want to thank our fans for cooperating and not making a bad situation worse."

Alexisonfire promised to return to Vancouver and finish the concert during a break they have scheduled on their tour with Billy Talent.

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