Heat exhaustion is revealed as the cause of death of the Brazilian Taylor Swift fan who died attending her Rio concert in November.
Ana Clara Benevides — the 23-year-old who passed out during Taylor Swift’s November 17 concert in Rio de Janeiro and died hours later at a local hospital — is revealed to have died from heat exhaustion, according to a forensics report obtained by The Associated Press this week.
The temperatures in the city were around 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) that day, with fans lined up for hours ahead of the show. Many accused organizers of failing to deliver ample water supplies for the 60,000-plus attendees at Nilton Santos Stadium — and fans were allegedly prevented from bringing their own water into the venue.
Though many have criticized the event organizers for a lack of water supplies, a friend of Benevides who also attended the concert told local media outlets that they had been given water while waiting to enter the stadium.
According to the report, Rio’s Forensic Medical Institute said that Benevides’ heat exposure led to cardiorespiratory arrest, and that she did not have pre-existing conditions or substance abuse that could have contributed to her death. Forensics experts who analyzed her body report that she had due to the heat, Benevides had “serious compromise to her lungs and sudden death.”
The company who organized the concert at Nilton Santos Stadium, Time 4 Fun (T4F), said in a statement that they “followed the best practices,” complied with “every demand from authorities,” and “distributed thousands of bottles of water” to concertgoers. T4F denied that it prevented fans from bringing their own water to the venue.
“In our 40 years in the business, this company had never registered a tragic episode” like Benevides’ death due to heat exhaustion, said T4F. The company also said Benevides was “promptly cared for by members of a rescue team and sent (to the hospital) in an intensive-care unit ambulance.”
A criminal investigation has been opened by the office of Rio’s public prosecutor. Following analysis of the forensics report, Rio police say “representatives of the company organizing the event will be called to testify.”
Meanwhile, Benevides’ father told news outlets that he “never doubted” that the cause of death was the extreme heat. His attorney told journalists that the forensics report “confirms the failings of the event’s organization.”