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Sweden’s foremost opera and ballet theater fined $300,000 for 2023 fatal fall of stage technician

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden’s national theater for opera and ballet, the Stockholm-based Royal Swedish Opera, has been fined 3 million kronor ($300,000) after a stage technician died last year when he fell around 13 meters (more than 40 feet) from a balcony as he was carrying out work inside the building.

The fatal fall had been investigated as “a work environment violation” and Prosecutor Jennie Nordin said the death could have been avoided, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported Friday.

According to SVT, Nordin said that the Royal Swedish Opera “had failed to investigate and assess the risk of the work in question,” and “that the stage worker was allowed to perform the work in question despite the risk of falling over the railing.”

The Royal Opera employee, Petter Sundelin, 57, died after falling on Sept. 21. He was flown in a helicopter to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Following the death, which was investigated by police, the Royal Opera decided to cancel all performances and tours of Sweden’s national theater for opera and ballet, founded in 1773. The downtown Stockholm stage offers a mix of performances and classical masterpieces with opera, ballet and activities for children and adolescents.