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At Least Three Killed, 70 Injured When Massive Storm Hits All-Star Belgian Rock Festival

Pukkelpop Festival, Eminem, Jared Leto Tijs Vanderstappen/Belga/ZUMAPRESS.com; PacificCoastnews.com; Theo Wargo/WireImage

This summer's music festival scene has been marred by tragedy yet again.

At least three people were killed today in Hasselt, Belgium, when a violent storm touched down at the annual Pukkelpop festival, which bills itself as an eco-friendly event that does its best to leave as small of an environmental impact on its surroundings as possible.

Foo Fighters, Rise Against and 30 Seconds to Mars were among the acts headlining the open-air fest tonight, Eminem was expected Friday and The Offspring were topping the bill Saturday.

"CRAZY STORM AT PUKKELPOP IN BELGIUM - NOT SURE WE WILL BE ABLE TO GO ON STAGE - STAYED TUNED. SAFETY FIRST," 30 Seconds frontman Jared Lato tweeted a couple hours before any casualties had been announced.

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"FOUR STAGES DOWN - STILL RAINING + THUNDER IF YOU ARE HERE PLEASE BE SAFE," he added an hour later. Then, moments after that, "Two confirmed dead. 40 at the hospital. Sending our thoughts and prayers."

The latest reports coming out of Belgium have the death toll at three, with more than 70 people hurt—11 severely and dozens of others sustaining minor storm-related injuries. A local news station reported that violent winds laid waste to tents and trees and festivalgoers were pelted with hail. Video shot at the scene showed overhead equipment dangling precariously.

"The Pukkelpop organisation has decided to cancel all shows tonight out of respect for the victims," festival organizers said in a statement. "We want to make our hearts and our minds silent for the festival goers that we lost and the ones that were injured. On this page you can pay your respects for the victims of the severe thunderstorm."

Chicago-based rockers the Smith Westerns were about to take the stage this afternoon when it collapsed—though even the bandmembers themselves didn't realize the extent of what was happeneing at first.

"Stage collapsed max almost got crushed by the tress. I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our s--- is broke," lead singer Cullen Omori tweeted immediately afterward, a tweet he soon deleted.

"Apologize to anyone who mistook tweet. Wrote direclty after running off stage. Just found out the extent of damage. All of prays go out…To those hurt," Omori added soon after.

Up to 60,000 people were expected to attend the three-day event, which kicked off today.

This is the fourth stage collapse this summer. In addition to the Indiana State Fair tragedy that left five people dead on Sunday, eight people were injured in July when the main stage at the Ottawa Bluesfest collapsed during a Cheap Trick show. On Aug. 7, wind and rain brought down a stage at OK's Brady District Block Party in Tulsa, Okla., right before the Flaming Lips were about to perform.

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