A Belgium music festival was cancelled today after five people died and 71 were injured when two stages collapsed during a heavy storm.

Disaster struck on Thursday at the festival, which attracts 180,000 people, in the Belgian town of Hasslet when uprooted trees fell on the two stages.

In a statement, festival organisers said: "Pukkelpop is in deep mourning. 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.

"What has happened is very exceptional and could not have been predicted. We are deeply moved by all the spontaneous support the festival goers and the organisation have received."

U.S band the Smith Westerners were on stage when it collapsed, but they managed to escape injury.

On Twitter, the band wrote: "Almost got crushed by the trees, I hope Pukkelpop has insurance because all our equipment is broken."

Meanwhile Jared Leto, singer with 30 Seconds to Mars, who were due to perform at the festival tweeted that his band were "sending our thoughts and prayers".