Social media has been speculating about two falls at the Chase Center Sunday night, one of which was fatal, but the venue had probably better make some safety improvements to the 200 level of seats.
The Chase Center has been open for more than two years, but it’s still a relatively new facility, and has mostly sat empty and unused because COVID-19 arrived just six months after its opening. The venue has hosted only about a half season of Warriors games, and just a few dozen concerts. The Chase Center is seeing more use now, but had a tragic and terrible Sunday night. KPIX reports that not one, but two people fell from the upper level at last night’s Phish concert, in apparently unrelated incidents.
I was in one of the top rows, behind the guy. He quickly and intentionally put his feet on the glass barricade and jumped off the edge down into the crowd. Do you know-how are the people underneath? I hope he didn’t land directly on anyone, but I don’t see how he couldn’t have.— Bobby Moen (@BobbyMoenMusic) October 18, 2021
We’re seeing plenty of social media speculation that these were either suicide attempts or drug-related incidents, but this is sheer speculation, and some of the accounts are contradictory. But a Reddit thread on the matter does have many corroborating reports from individuals seeing falls from the upper deck, or witnessing the landings from the lower. These do not make for pleasant reading.
Phish fan falls to his death at concert at Chase Center https://t.co/JGgXojZhU3— Mercury News (@mercnews) October 18, 2021
The Mercury News has the full, but still rather vague, statement from the Chase Center. “Two guests attending last night’s concert were seriously injured,” the statement says. “The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Officer has informed us that, sadly, one of the individuals has passed away. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the guest’s loved ones. We are working with the local authorities to determine exactly what happened, and will defer questions about the incident to the San Francisco Police Department.”
One person has died and two others were injured in separate falls during a concert at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Sunday night featuring the band Phish. https://t.co/fqUWDKvdQB— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) October 18, 2021
KPIX has far more detail in their report. “A San Francisco police spokesperson confirmed to KPIX 5 on Monday that around 8:55 p.m., police were alerted to a person in need of medical assistance,” the station reports. “When officers arrived, they found a man who was suffering from injuries caused by a possible fall.”
And then it happened again. “Less than an hour later, at 9:45 p.m. officers and medics responded to another fall at the arena,” according to KPIX. “In that incident, an adult male who fell along with another patron who was struck by the falling man were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. According to officers, there were no signs of any criminal violation associated with the incident.”
It seems implausible that there would two separate suicide attempts at one Phish show, though this may be the case, or it could be intoxication-related, or both could be accidental. Whatever the case, one innocent bystander was injured as a result of these incidents that took place at a new-ish $1.4 billion facility. To state the obvious, there will likely be at least one civil lawsuit filed over this. And with another concert scheduled for Wednesday, and the Warriors home opener Thursday (which is on national television, mind you), the Chase Center probably ought to be working on some security modifications to that very steep upper level.
If you are in crisis, text "BAY" to 741741 for free, 24/7, confidential crisis support from Crisis Text Line. And if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you or they should call the San Francisco Suicide Prevention crisis line at 415-781-0500.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
Image: dtstuff9 via Wikimedia Commons