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Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 15:00 GMT
Limp Bizkit 'devastated' by fan death
Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst at Woodstock in 1999
Limp Bizkit: Singer Fred Durst appealed for calm
American rock band Limp Bizkit have said they are "devastated" by the death of a 15-year-old girl injured in a crush during one of their gigs.

The girl, who has been identified only as Jessica, had a heart attack during the band's performance last week at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, Australia.

She died in hospital on Wednesday.

"We are devastated that Jessica died and really nothing can describe the sadness and anguish we're feeling," said the five band members in a statement.

"We offer sympathy, prayers and compassion to her family and friends. The loss of her life will impact ours forever."

Nine died in a crush at Roskilde last year
In a statement, the organisers of Big Day Out said: "Our hearts and thoughts go out to her family and friends in this time of deep sorrow.

"It is incredibly devastating for all involved in the event that a young woman has lost her life in what should have been a joyous day of festivity with her friends."

Sydney Police said they were preparing a brief for the coroner investigating the death.

"The circumstances surrounding the girl being taken to hospital on 26 January after attending the Big Day Out will form part of a report for the coroner," said a police spokesman.

30 others were injured in the crush - and six more taken to hospital - which organisers blamed on excessive heat and crowd excitement.

Limp Bizkit stopped their headlining performance several times while singer Fred Durst pleaded with the crowd to calm down.

When news of the girl's injury became clear, the band stopped playing for 20 minutes and wanted to stop playing altogether. But police officials at the scene feared a possible riot among the 20,000-strong crowd.

The band later pulled out of the travelling festival completely, saying they had no confidence in its organisers.

The incident evoked memories of the Roskilde Festival tragedy in Denmark, when nine people were killed in a crush while Pearl Jam were playing.

More than 55,000 people attended the Sydney leg of Big Day Out, which also saw performances from Coldplay, PJ Harvey, At The Drive In and Queens of The Stone Age.

See also:

27 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Australia swelters in heatwave
31 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Festival crush victim dies
19 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Bands back Roskilde safety plan
01 Jul 00 | Europe
Fatal crush at rock festival
27 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Pearl Jam: Festival deaths 'avoidable'
27 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Limp Bizkit quit Big Day Out
25 Apr 00 | Entertainment
MP3 site takes the Bizkit
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