UPDATE (Aug. 9, 12:13 p.m. PT) — Two workers were killed Thursday afternoon when a boom lift fell as they dismantled stages at the site of the Pickathon music festival in Happy Valley.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Marcus Mendoza said two men were secured to a basket at the top of the arm, which was extended about 40 feet when it fell over and crashed to the ground.
“It was likely an accident,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said the two men were helping detach rigging that suspends large white shades over the audience area at Pickathon’s Mount Hood stage — the main stage at the festival.
The two men — who Mendoza said were under 30 — were elevated by the boom high up into the limbs of Douglas fir trees to untie the rigging when the boom fell over.
“With their safety equipment, they were attached to the basket at the top,” Mendoza described. He said they likely died “on impact.”
Mendoza said it appeared the lift was on uneven ground when it fell over, but said OSHA was already on site investigating.
Pickathon issued a statement saying staff are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss.
“Please join us in offering up prayers and support to their families and friends during this difficult time. All involved in Pickathon are like members of a family to us,” said the statement.
Thousands of visitors attended last weekend’s Pickathon festival, which ended Sunday evening. Staff were expecting to finish breaking down the stages Friday.