Jared Leto, band 'devastated' over deadly festival disaster in Belgium
Jared Leto and his rock band, Thirty Seconds To Mars, recently expressed their condolences to the victims and survivors of the deadly stage collapse at Belgium's Pukkelpop music festival.
The group was supposed to perform at the three-day event, which was canceled after it was hit with a massive storm on Thursday. Five people were killed and more than 75 were injured as a result of the chaos that ensued. One of the stages was destroyed when strong winds sent trees crashing into rigging, the UK newspaper The Guardian said.
Other stages were also damaged as tents, music and lighting equipment and television screens also went flying.
"Our deepest thoughts and sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost their lives today at the show in Belgium," Leto, 39, said on his website on Thursday. "We are absolutely devastated that this celebration ended in tragedy. To those that were injured, we are sending thoughts and prayers."
"Obviously under these horrible and dangerous circumstances, and out of respect for those who have passed, Thirty Seconds to Mars will not be playing," he added. "We love you all and hope tomorrow brings a better day."
An estimated 60,000 people attended the festival, whose acts also included rapper Eminem and rock bands The Offspring and Foo Fighters.
"CRAZY STORM AT PUKKELPOP IN BELGIUM - NOT SURE WE WILL BE ABLE TO GO ON STAGE - STAYED TUNED. SAFETY FIRST," Leto Tweeted earlier on Thursday, later saying: "FOUR STAGES DOWN - STILL RAINING + THUNDER IF YOU ARE HERE PLEASE BE SAFE. SERIOUS INJURIES AT THE FESTIVAL. MORE BAD WEATHER POSS HEADING THIS WAY. PLEASE TAKE CARE AND CAUTION."
Leto is the lead singer of Thirty Seconds To Mars, which formed in Los Angeles in 1998 and has enjoyed high record sales mostly in Europe. The group's latest album, the 2009 record "This Is War," broke the top 20 in charts around the world, including the United States, and contain the single "Hurricane," whose music video was considered too risque to air on television.
Leto is also known as an actor and rose to fame playing bad boy Jordan Catalano on "My So-Called Life," which ran between 1994 and 1995 and launched the career of main star Claire Danes.
Leto went on to star in movies such as "Girl, Interrupted" in 1999 and "Requiem For a Dream" in 2000. His last major role was in the 2009 film "Mr. Nobody," an independent movie starring Diane Kruger and "Dawn of the Dead" actress Sarah Polley.
In February, Leto paid tribute to Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl's former band mate, the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, by releasing a video of himself performing two songs by the grunge group.