Madonna, dame de coeur
Madonna won hearts in France Sunday as she visited injured survivors and the family of a stage hand who died during an accident which saw her concert date in Marseille cancelled.
The city's mayor paid tribute to the US pop star's 'humanity' as she visited the home of 52-year-old French victim Charles Criscenzo's family in nearby Aix-en-Provence before tending to colleagues being treated in hospital.
The black-clad US pop star landed at Marseille-Marignane airport at 1615 GMT and sped off with a bodyguard in a black Mercedes to the house where Criscenzo lived, where a security perimeter had been set up to keep media away.
Two men, Criscenzo and 23-year-old Briton Charles Prow, were killed on Thursday with eight more workers injured in the accident when part of the stage being built at the city's Stade Velodrome collapsed.
The accident happened when a crane toppled over as they were preparing the venue for Sunday's concert, which was immediately cancelled.
Madonna - whose two adopted children arrived with her in France, but left the airport in another car - went on to visit three injured workers still being cared for in two Marseille hospitals.
One, an American, was in a serious condition Sunday, according to local health officials.
Madonna arrived mid-evening at the Mediterranean port's Conception hospital, without any official escort, and bearing a large bouquet of white roses, to visit a French technician who broke a hip in the accident.
Met at the hospital by city mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin, she made no declaration before escaping the crowd to tend to the injured stage hand and making her way to a second hospital.
Speaking for the city, Gaudin said 'we are very touched that a singer of her stature and talent has demonstrated such extraordinary human qualities' with this visit.
'Madonna wanted to come and visit those injured and the families of those killed,' the mayor's special events deputy Maurice Di Nocera earlier told AFP. 'She wanted something private and discreet.'
The singer was not, however, given permission to visit the stadium - the home of Olympique Marseille football club - with an accident investigation under way.
Ticket reimbursements for the Marseille concert would begin on Monday, Madonna's publicists said.
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