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Stage Collapse Kills 2 At Belgium Festival

HASSELT, Belgium, Aug. 18 (UPI) — At least two people were killed Thursday and scores injured when a stage collapsed at an outdoor music festival near Hasselt, Belgium, officials said.

The town’s mayor said early reports indicated there were two dead and at least 40 people injured when the Chateau stage at the Pukkelpop festival came crashing down during a heavy storm.

Accuweather.com said radar indicated a line of strong thunderstorms with high winds was moving across northern Belgium at the time of the stage collapse. Wind gusts were measured at 50 mph in Beauvechain, 27 miles southwest of Hasselt, Accuweather said.

A member of the Chicago rock band Smith Westerners tweeted: “Stage collapsed max (Kakacek) almost got crushed by the trees. I hope pukkelpop has insurance be all our —- is broke. Praying no one got hurt.” The band was on stage at the time the storms rolled through. He later sent an apology when he found out the severity of the damage, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The Telegraph said a second stage and some giant screens also fell down.

The three-day Pukkelpop is expected to draw about 60,000 fans to hear bands including headliners Foo Fighters and rapper Eminem.

The accident comes less than a week after the weather-related collapse of the main stage at the Indiana State Fair in the United States, which killed five people and injured more than 40 just before country band Sugarland was set to perform.

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