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The One Direction boys have sent their “thoughts and prayers” to the family of a man who died while loading their equipment.

Kevin Benson collapsed and suffered a head injury and cardiac arrest while loading the band’s equipment into the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Sunday. He was rushed to the nearby Royal Liverpool Hospital, where he later died.

A spokesperson for 1D told the Liverpool Echo: “The band, who were at their hotel in Manchester at the time, offer their sincere condolences, and their thoughts and prayers are with Kevin’s family at this difficult time.”

A venue spokesman said: “We can confirm that a contractor working at Echo Arena Liverpool was taken to hospital on Sunday morning.

“We understand that he subsequently died. Our sincere condolences go to his family at this sad time.”

Meanwhile, Liam Payne’s new pet puppy has been the subject of death threats on Twitter.

Liam and girlfriend Danielle Peazer – posted pictures of Loki on the social networking website, but not all messages where of a pleasent nature.

One person tweeted: “I am outraged and appalled f***ing loki the dog! that dog aint nothing but the scum on my shoe.

“@Real_Liam_Payne @DaniellePeazer the dog is not going to see tomorrow if i can help it..”