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Pearl Jam: 'Lives could have been saved' at concert
LOS ANGELES -- Members of the rock band Pearl Jam, in seclusion since nine fans died after a stampede at their June 30 show in Denmark, published a statement Wednesday saying "lives could have been saved" if festival security had reacted differently.
"It is our understanding that at least 15 minutes passed between the time a member of the festival security team identified a potential problem and the time we were informed," said the Seattle-based band.
"We stopped the show immediately upon being informed that there might be a problem, even though we were asked to wait..." the band said.
Without the delay, "we could have stopped the show earlier and lives could have been saved."
The deaths occurred during the annual Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen, where Pearl Jam was one of a number of bands on the bill. Amid muddy conditions, the crowd surged toward the stage during the band's set. Eight were suffocated at the scene, and a ninth person died of chest injuries five days later.
Police in Roskilde have exonerated concert management and blamed an unruly audience for the deaths, but in response to reports that a preliminary investigation found the band "morally responsible," Pearl Jam said: "We feel that we are 'morally responsible' to bring out the truth with regard to what happened that night."
The incident "cannot be written off entirely as a 'freak accident' or 'bad luck,' as some have called it," the band's statement said.
"When something this disastrous occurs, when this many lives are lost, it is essential that every aspect be examined thoroughly and from all angles," the Pearl Jam statement said. "To date, we don't feel this has been done."
The band demanded that authorities probe festival security, emergency medical response, the staging setup and alcohol arrangements.
Denmark's Politiken newspaper reported on Tuesday that a new round of official hearings will focus on security and safety arrangements and will include questioning band members.
No comment was available from a festival spokesman.
The Roskilde tragedy was the worst rock 'n' roll disaster since 1979 when 11 people were killed before a Who concert in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Pearl Jam, comprised of singer Eddie Vedder, guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, bass player Jeff Ament and drummer Matt Cameron, cancelled the remaining few dates of their European tour. They are scheduled to begin a North American tour August 3 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Formed almost 10 years ago, when Seattle was at the center of the "grunge" revolution, Pearl Jam has outlasted many of their contemporaries, thanks to hit songs such as "Alive," "Daughter" and the Grammy-winning "Spin the Black Circle."
CNN.com Dansk correspondent Kerrin Linde and Reuters contributed to this report.
Danish police want to question Pearl Jam over concert deaths
Roskilde Festival Website
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