Fierce Belgian storm leaves 1 dead, 7 injured at rock fest

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A violent storm hit an outdoor rock music festival Thursday in northern Belgium, leaving at least one person dead and seven others seriously injured, firefighters said.

Two stages collapsed, one falling on the concert-goers. Some giant screens also fell down and trees were uprooted by the fierce storm, the Belga news agency reported.

Tens of thousands of people had flocked to the annual outdoor concert and many were under a big tent, sheltered from the rains and listening to the group Smith Westerns, when it collapsed, according to the RTBF public television website.

Ambulances rushed to the scene as the concert came to a halt.

Last year at the festival's 25th season, two tragedies occurred: a sound engineer died of a heart attack, and a rock singer, Charles Haddon, committed suicide by jumping from the top of a pylon after his group performed.

Just last week in the United States, a similar tragedy occurred at the Indiana State Fair. A strong gust of wind brought down the stage rigging for a Sugarland country music concert, killing five people and injuring another 45 concert-goers.

© 2011 AFP

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