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Worker killed in accident while building stage for Moscow protest

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Two opposition activists hold flyers as they unfurl a banner that reads: "Freedom of prisoners on May 6!" in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6 rally on Bolotnaya Square (Swamp) Square on a building in New Arbat street in Moscow, Russia, May 6, 2013, ahead of a massive planned rally Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/Mitya Aleshkovskiy)The Associated Press

Moscow police say a man helping construct the stage for a major protest rally has died after a column of sound equipment collapsed.

The accident at midday Monday came just a few hours before opponents of President Vladimir Putin were to gather for a demonstration. The rally marks the one-year anniversary of a protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration that ended in clashes between police and demonstrators.

About two dozen people face charges stemming from the clashes; most remain in jail a year after the protest.

The Interfax news agency said the man killed Monday was a 25-year-old opposition supporter.

A city safety official was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying investigators were inspecting the accident site at Bolotnaya Square, on an island near the Kremlin.