Europe

Deadly storm strikes Belgium's Pukkelpop festival

  • 18 August 2011
  • From the section Europe

At least two people have been killed at the Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium after a sudden storm caused two stages to collapse, reports say.

Television pictures from the scene, about 65km (40 miles) east of Brussels, showed fallen stage rigging and people scrambling for cover.

Initial reports in the Belgian media said four people had been killed.

About 60,000 people were believed to be at the event, one of Europe's largest outdoor festivals.

The mayor of the town of Hasselt, where Pukkelpop is held, said 40 people were injured, AP news agency reported.

The TV images showed rain-soaked festival-goers bracing against strong winds. Fallen gantries and rigging could be seen on the ground.

Belgian media reported that trees were uprooted by the violent storm and smashed into the stage, bringing it down.

Some festival-goers said on the Twitter website that a tornado had struck.

The BBC's Matthew Cole, in Brussels, said the storms swept across Belgium in the early evening, turning the sky dark.

Five people were killed last week at a festival in the US state of Indiana when a stage collapsed in high winds.

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