February 14, 2016 - 10:30 AM
HELSINKI - Five British men, including members of British indie band Viola Beach, were killed when their car drove through a barrier and plunged into a canal near Stockholm.
The crash early Saturday occurred when the men's rental car crashed through a barrier that was closed to stop vehicles as a drawbridge was opening up ahead, Stockholm Police spokesman Martin Bergholm said. The victims were British and aged between 20 and 35, he said.
In a statement issued Sunday through Britain's Foreign Office, the family of the band's manager, Craig Tarry, confirmed that Tarry died in the crash along with four members of the band.
Viola Beach, based in Warrington in northwestern England, had played at a Swedish music festival on Friday and was scheduled to open for headline artists Blossoms at a concert in the British city of Guilford on Saturday, but the music venue said in a statement that Blossoms decided to cancel the gig after learning that Viola Beach had been involved in an accident.
"We are saddened and devastated as details have come to light of this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with family and friends," the venue Boileroom said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Police were investigating the cause of the crash, Bergholm said, adding that it was getting dark and the road was slippery.
"There were no brake marks on the road and it's very difficult to say how fast the car was going at the time," Bergholm said, adding that a witness — a truck driver who had stopped at the barrier — estimated the speed at between 70-80 kph (43-50 mph).
The accident occurred on the E4 highway in Stockholm's Sodertalje district.
Malin Rising and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016