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Pyrotechnics blast at Paris musical kills one, injures 15

08 November 2013

A pyrotechnics blast at a Paris arena has killed one and injured 15 people, five seriously, just hours before the start of a musical about the French Revolution. The dead man was technical director Marcus Toledano, 41, who is said to have died of a heart attack when the fireworks were set off.

Palais des Sports, Paris
Palais des Sports, Paris

The large Palais des Sports venue in the south-west of the city was preparing to stage a production of the musical ‘1789, Les amants de la Bastille’. Those hurt are said to be either cast members or stage hands.

A technician is thought to have accidentally ignited pyrotechnic devices being used in the show. According to Le Parisien newspaper, the use of a power tool close to the devices may have triggered the explosion.

About 100 firefighters and a dozen fire engines were deployed to the scene. Some of those seriously hurt, who were taken to hospitals in the city, suffered burns while another received a facial injury, the French broadcaster BFMTV reported.

Weekend performances of the show, which premiered in Paris last year, were reportedly cancelled.

The Palais des Sports has a capacity of 4,500 and is one of the French capital's largest performance spaces. It hosted the premiere of Les Miserables in 1980.

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