London: All four young members of the British indie band Viola Beach and their manager have been killed when their car smashed into a road barrier and plunged into a canal in Sweden, where they staged their first international gig.
Divers and rescue service personnel search for the victims of the deadly car crash in the canal under the E4 highway bridge in Sodertalje. Five Britons, believed to be the members of indie band Viola Beach and their manager, have died in a road crash in Sweden. Pic/AFP
The five British men, aged between 19 and 35, died near the Swedish capital Stockholm yesterday when their car plunged more than 80 ft off a bridge into a canal following the crash.
"We can confirm that five British nationals died in a car accident in Sweden on February 13. We are in contact with local authorities and supporting the families at this difficult time," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
Vocalist Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe and drummer Jack Dakin and their manager Craig Tarry died in the horrific crash.
Tarry was described as a "man of unshakable optimism" and a passionate Manchester City supporter.
The bridge was closing when the crash happened after it had been opened to let a boat pass, Swedish media reported.
The reason for the crash was not immediately clear. News of the tragedy spread quickly on social media and fellow band The Enemy tweeted: "RIP Viola Beach and their manager. Such incredibly tragic and sad news. Thought with the friends and families of all involved x."
The band, based in Warrington in northwestern England, were part of the line-up for music festival Where is the Music? on Friday in Sweden and were due to play a gig in Guildford in Surrey yesterday.
Before the crash the band appeared to be in good spirits with an optimistic post on their Facebook page: "Very excited to announce we've been invited by to play BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation's showcase at SXSW Music Festival in Austin Texas at Latitude 30 on Wednesday 16th March!!"
Viola Beach, which performed at Reading and Leeds Festival in 2015, had also released their debut single Swings & Waterslides last year.