Five Dead After Storm at Pukkelpop Festival


Just a few days after a very similar accident in Indiana, strong weather resulted in deaths at an outdoor show. On Thursday, heavy wind and rain at Belgium's Pukkelpop festival caused tents, screens, and a stage to fall onto attendees. The incident took place immediately before a set by Smith Westerns, whose front man, Cullen Omori, dispatched an unfortunate tweet before realizing the extent of the problem: "Stage collapsed max almost got crushed by the tress. I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our shit is broke." Mayor Hilde Claes of Hasselt, who was at the event, said on Belgian television that five attendees had died, while an additional 73 had sustained injuries of varying severity: "The storm struck in an incredibly sudden way ... It was a real whirlwind. I have never seen anything like it in Hasselt before." As concertgoer Laura Elegeert told the AP, "It was mass panic ... People were trying to get out of this tent that collapsed by using their pocket knives and cutting holes in the fabric." Organizers have canceled the rest of the festival. [Reuters]