Belgium drops Pukkelpop death toll to four

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Belgian authorities on Monday lowered the death toll from the violent storm that lashed last week's Pukkelpop rock festival.

The mayor of Hasselt Hilde Claes tol Belga news agency that four people died when stages and tents collapsed on Thursday evening amid a hailstorm that uprooted trees in Flemish eastern Belgium.

One of those initially counted as a victim and who died in hospital in Hasselt on Thursday night had not been at the festival, two Dutch-language regional dailies said.

Eleven people were seriously hurt during the storm, three of whom were in a critical condition in hospital.

The three-day Pukkelpop festival, drawing some 65,000 fans each day with top international acts such as Eminem, the Foo Fighters or The Offspring on the bill, was immediately halted when the storm hit.

Hasselt prosecutors on Friday opened an inquiry, with Belgian authorities set over the weekend to declare a natural catastrophe for insurance purposes.

© 2011 AFP

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