Pukkelpop Festival Canceled After Stage Collapse Kills Five

Less than a week after powerful thunderstorm winds toppled a stage at the Indiana State Fair, killing five people and injuring 40 others, a similar set of circumstances occurred across the Atlantic.

On Thursday (Aug. 18) at Belgium’s 2011 Pukkelpop music festival, ravaging storms swept through, uprooting trees, taking down festival light towers and TV screens, and eventually collapsing a stage, which killed five and injured close to 140 others.

“I have seen many tropical storms, but this was unprecedented,” Chokri Mahassine, organizer of 26-year-old festival, told the Associated Press later.

As a result of the horrible tragedy, Pukkelpop organizers have released a statement officially canceling the music event, explaining grief over the damage, death, and injuries.

“Pukkelpop is in deep mourning,” organizers said in the statement . “We truly sympathise with the families and friends of the victims. Words are not enough. We have struggled with the decision to continue the festival. Therefore we have decided to cancel Pukkelpop 2011 . . . We ask everyone to understand that this decision was extremely difficult to make.”

According to BBC News reports, more than 60,000 people were on festival-grounds when the storm hit the town of Hasselt, about 50 miles from Brussels.

The Foo Fighters, Eminem, James Blake, and The Offspring were a few of the big names scheduled to take the stage at the weekend festival, along with more than 200 artists and bands.

DJ Bonics – one of the artists that performed along with Wiz Khalifa at the festival – captured the following footage during the terrifying storm: