Video screen falls on dancers in Hong Kong

gafftaper

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A large section of video screen fell during a concert in Hong Kong. There are multiple videos of the accident online. I link to the one below as it is the least disturbing. Other angles clearly show one dancer getting hit and it's really hard to watch. The wall came down directly on top of one dancer then fell over onto a couple of other dancers.

Rumors are that the one person is critical in the ICU and the dancers who were hit as it fell over only have minor injuries.

I'm guessing we will probably never know exactly what happened. Use quality components, do the math, check your work, use safety design factors, don't rig anything that you do not KNOW how to rig properly. Don't rig things in ways that are not manufacturer approved. Stay safe out there people.

 
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gafftaper

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The investigation appears to be focusing on the cables. Apparently some analysis of videos shows that this started when one of the cables broke. There are claims that rehearsals were delayed because of mechanical issues with the stage.

 

egilson1

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I'm also seeing some info that there is a "lost in translation" issue and it was a carabiner and not wire rope that failed.
 
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gafftaper

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I'm also seeing some info that there is a "lost in translation" issue and it was a carabiner and not wire rope that failed.
@egilson1 in typical US touring rigging practices, would the design factors call for the screen to be able to be supported by one cable if the other cable fails?

From my semi-educated point of view, it seems like we are seeing a double failure here of
a) Something breaks in the first cable system
b) The second cable system should have been designed to be able to support the weight of the whole screen but it wasn't so it also broke

To me, the end result of this video should have been a screen dangling awkwardly from cable number two. Is that a reality in typical touring things you see, or is that just my educational theater ivory tower ideal image of rigging that we don't actually see in the real world here?
 

Van

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I re-watched a couple times. It looks to me as if the screens were being lifted/ were rising at the time of the failure. It also appeared that the other two monitors were swaying slightly before the collapsed on let loose. the quality of this video makes it difficult to see if the lift line follows the screen down or if the cable separates at the top of the screen or if it snaps some where in the middle.
I'm wondering if it was on a hoist and the hoist failed rather than just a cable or hardware failure.
 

Van

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Different angle with light and the aftermath.
Hard to tell it could be that those are all signal and power cables that were wrapped onto the lift lines and the lift lines pulled through the center or, if, the hoist failed and cables still attached.
I did notice in the other video that all the monitors were in motion and more than just this one were twisting slightly as the went up and down. That dynamic torsional stress on top of just the dead load might have been a factor.Screenshot 2022-08-05 142203.jpg
 

soundman

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@egilson1 in typical US touring rigging practices, would the design factors call for the screen to be able to be supported by one cable if the other cable fails?

From my semi-educated point of view, it seems like we are seeing a double failure here of
a) Something breaks in the first cable system
b) The second cable system should have been designed to be able to support the weight of the whole screen but it wasn't so it also broke

To me, the end result of this video should have been a screen dangling awkwardly from cable number two. Is that a reality in typical touring things you see, or is that just my educational theater ivory tower ideal image of rigging that we don't actually see in the real world here?
The answer is - it depends. Thinking back to my last few tours where we had two point automated things either of the points would have held the load but the size of the object would have made it possible for it to have hit the ground. We had a flying camera on my last tour set up as a V rig between two winches. If the rope or attachment method would have failed from one line the other half of the system would have been able to support the load but the camera would likely crash into the ground because of the swing and amount of rope out.

Another tour we had a large video truss that was on three points, if the center point would have failed the truss would have rolled but the outer two points could have held the load. Depending on where it was at the time of failure it could have hit the stage. If one of the outside points failed there would have been a 30' cantilever of 20"X30" truss supporting some video product. maybe it would have held? I don't think the engineering was run on such a failure.

All the more reason from frequent inspections and choosing appropriately sized gear.
 

Ben Stiegler

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A large section of video screen fell during a concert in Hong Kong. There are multiple videos of the accident online. I link to the one below as it is the least disturbing. Other angles clearly show one dancer getting hit and it's really hard to watch. The wall came down directly on top of one dancer then fell over onto a couple of other dancers.

Rumors are that the one person is critical in the ICU and the dancers who were hit as it fell over only have minor injuries.

I'm guessing we will probably never know exactly what happened. Use quality components, do the math, check your work, use safety design factors, don't rig anything that you do not KNOW how to rig properly. Don't rig things in ways that are not manufacturer approved. Stay safe out there people.


that is a weird news clip narrated by Robbie the RoboNarrator.
 

StradivariusBone

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Were the LED walls static or mobile? Somewhere I saw people were claiming they moved up or down or were tracked somehow, but I couldn't find anything specific to answer definitively.
 

gafftaper

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Were the LED walls static or mobile? Somewhere I saw people were claiming they moved up or down or were tracked somehow, but I couldn't find anything specific to answer definitively.
If you watch the video from the really disturbing angle (not linked above but easy to find) you can see that the screen was in the process of slowly flying out when it fell.
 

Van

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Were the LED walls static or mobile? Somewhere I saw people were claiming they moved up or down or were tracked somehow, but I couldn't find anything specific to answer definitively.
All 6 of them were moving up and down at the same time. I watched at least three other angles of the video and I have to say it looks like a couple of them were swaying/rocking around the z axis. I can't help but wonder if something got caught, a cable stacked wrong, something jumped a sheave. It just doesn't look right.
 

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