A collapsed stage at Pukkelpop Festival has killed at least two people in Hasselt, Belgium. Details are still unfolding, and the latest Associated Press reports show 2 dead. Pukkelpop is also reporting at least 40 injured in both the collapse and the storm that caused it.
UPDATE: Pukkelpop death toll rises to 5, according to the Associated Press.
UPDATE: Pukkelpop has canceled the remainder of the festival in the wake of the tragedy. On their official blog, Pukkelpop says, “Pukkelpop is in deep mourning. We truly sympathise with the families and friends of the victims.Words are not enough. We have struggled with the decision to continue the festival. Therefore we have decided to cancel Pukkelpop 2011.”
According to NME, the violent storm blew several trees onto The Chateau stage, destroying it. A second stage was also damaged by the storm, but no one was hurt.
The Chicago-based group Smith Westerns were next onstage when the stage fell to the ground. Moments after, singer Cullen Omori tweeted “Stage collapsed max (Max Kakacek) almost got crushed by the tress. I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our s— is broke.” He then followed with “Praying no one got hurt. Wtf.”
UPDATE: Smith Westerns have deleted their initial tweet, and has now tweeted: “Apologize to anyone who mistook tweet. Wrote directly after running off stage. Just found out the extent of damage. All of prays go to those hurt.”
Pukkelpop’s disaster is one of only four this summer, after Cheap Trick’s near-miss at the Ottawa Bluesfest, the Flaming Lips’ narrow escape at an outdoor show in Oklahoma, and the tragic collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed five.