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Stage collapses during performance of Smith Westerns while in Belgium

Bryan Alaspa's picture

At least three concert goers were killed when a storm ripped through the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium during a performance of Chicago band Smith Westerns.

This is the second major collapse of a stage resulting in the deaths of concert-goers in recent weeks. The first was at the Indiana State Fair just about a week ago. The concert in Belgium was also outdoors and a storm ripped through the event, causing the stage to fall.

According to media reports, just as the Chicago-based band the Smith Westerns started performing a heavy storm hit. Reportedly the band was able to get safely off the stage just before it collapsed.

Statements about the event released later in the day indicated that the bands had managed to complete their first song before the storm hit and the stage began to collapse. The band released a statement saying that they were just about to launch into their second song when the stage began to shake and their tour manager yelled for them to get off the stage.

Reports are that up to 40 other concert attendees were injured in the collapse. Seven concert goers were injured seriously and sent to local hospitals. The storm collapsed tents, uprooted trees and even ripped the roof off of another stage and some local businesses.

A campsite near the concert area was also the location of deaths. One person was killed when the stage collapsed and two more were killed when the storm ripped through the campsite.

The event was reportedly sold out with the concerts starting on Thursday and scheduled to continue through the weekend. There were estimates that up to 60,000 people were in attendance.

The festival has been suspended. Organizers were reportedly meeting to decide if the event should continue.

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