At Least Three Dead in Belgian Stage Collapse

Severe weather strikes during Smith Westerns set at Pukkelpop Festival

August 18, 2011 3:05 PM ET
smith westerns stage collapse
Smith Westerns at Bonnaroo

The Associated Press have reported that three concertgoers have died and around 70 have been injured in a stage collapse during a set by Chicago indie rockers Smith Westerns at the Pukkelpop Festival in Hasselt, Belgium.

According to tweets from frontman Cullen Omori this afternoon, their stage collapsed during a strong rainstorm. "Stage collapsed max almost got crushed by the tress. I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our shit is broke," Omori tweeted. Shortly afterward, he wrote "Praying no got hurt. Wtf." Omori later confirmed that no one in Smith Westerns was hurt in the crash.

Later in the day the band released the following statement:

"We had just finished the first song of our set at Pukkelpop when the stage/tent started shaking and simply thought it was a storm passing through. I made a comment about Cheap Trick and we were about to play the next one when our tour manager yelled at me to run off the stage. Right then the tress collapsed one foot in front of Max. At this point we thought only the stage broke, not the tent. Amid the chaos it was hard to tell exactly what had happened, but after the rescue teams started coming in it became clear that there were severe injuries and we are now being told there are reports of multiple deaths. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in today's tragedy."

RS Live: Smith Westerns Go Acoustic
This is the fourth major stage collapse incident this summer. Cheap Trick, the Flaming Lips and Sugarland have all been hit in the recent past.

You can see footage from the collapse at the Pukkelpop festival in the clips below, courtesy of Rock Sound.

Stage Collapse at Indiana State Fair Kills Five, Injures Dozens
Indiana Stage Collapse Tragedy Was Preventable, Expert Says
Video: Flaming Lips' Stage Collapses in Oklahoma
Cheap Trick Survives Stage Collapse in Canada
Cheap Trick Manager: 'I Can't Believe We're Alive'

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