Taylor Swift fan died of heat exhaustion at Rio de Janeiro show last month, forensics report says


Heat exhaustion caused the death of a 23-year-old Brazilian fan who attended a Taylor Swift concert in November, according to a forensics report obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Ana Clara Benevides passed out during Cruel Summer, the American musician’s second song in the Nov. 17 concert in Rio de Janeiro, and died hours later in hospital. Temperatures that day were around 40 C.

Fans lined up for hours before the show, and many accused organizers of failing to deliver enough water supplies for the over 60,000 concert-goers at the Nilton Santos Stadium. Attendees said they were not allowed to take their own water into the stadium.

The report by Rio’s Forensic Medical Institute said Benevides’s heat exposure led to a cardio-respiratory arrest. It also said she did not have pre-existing conditions or substance abuse that could have led to her death.

The forensics expert said in the document she had “serious compromise of her lungs and sudden death” due to the heat.

One of Benevides’s friends who also attended the concert told local media outlets in November they had been given water while waiting to enter the stadium.

Organizer T4F did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Chief executive officer Serafim Abreu said in a video days after Benevides’s death that the company would change its protocols for events under extreme heat. He also said T4F would offer assistance to her family.

Criminal investigation opened

The office of Rio’s public prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation. Rio police said in a statement on Wednesday that after the forensics report is analyzed, “representatives of the company organizing the event will be called to testify.”

Benevides had taken her first flight to travel from the country’s centre-west region to see her favourite singer.

In a statement posted on Instagram after the death, Swift said the case had left her with a “shattered heart.” She postponed the scheduled concert the next night.

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