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Freak storms cause second fatal stage collapse in a week

A sudden catastrophic thunder storm last night caused staging to collapse and AV equipment to fall at the Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium, killing five people.

The annual festival was taking part in Hasselt, in the Flemish region. Hasselt mayor Hilde Claes, who was understood to be at the event, said on Belgian television that in addition to those who were killed, another 73 were injured, eight of them seriously. “The storm struck in an incredibly sudden way,” she said. “It was a real whirlwind. I have never seen anything like it in Hasselt before.”

The fatal collapse comes in the same week that saw five people also killed by a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in the US. That was said to have been caused by a “significant” gust of wind that destabilised rigging.

The organiser has declared its intention to cancel the rest of the three day festival - originally intended to last until Saturday.

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