Pukkelpop Stage Collapse; Three Reported Dead

FATAL STAGE COLLAPSE AT
PUKKELPOP MUSIC FEST IN HASSELT, BELGIUM

At least three have been reported dead and sixty injured as a result of a stage collapse at the Pukkelpop Music Festival in Hasselt, Belgium.

Chicago-based Smith Westerns were performing at the three-day festival in Hasselt, Belgium when a storm blew onto the open-air festival grounds causing severe damage to several stages. The strong storm also uprooted trees, causing additional damage, according to USA Today.

Organizers say that approximately 60,000 people were in attendance on Thursday when the storm broke. Hugo Simons, head of emergency medical planning in Hasselt, told VRT radio that three people died, 11 were severely injured while 60 sustained light injuries as a result of the storm.

Festival organizer Chokri Mahassine has told AP "we have for now put the festival on hold until we understand the situation completely."

The news comes during a Summer of dangerous stage collapses at a number of different live events. On July 17, Cheap Trick was performing at Ottawa Bluesfest when sudden high winds cause a complete collapse of the stage, destroying much of the band's equipment. On August 8, The Flaming Lips experienced their own stage collapse due to sudden extreme wind and rain as they prepared to take the stage at Tulsa's Brady Block Party in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On August 14, a stage collapsed on a crowd awaiting a Sugarland performance at the Indiana State Fair, killing 5 and injuring 45.

[Published on: 8/18/11]

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