A 23-year-old woman died of cardiac arrest due to dehydration during U.S. singer Taylor Swift’s concert in Rio de Janeiro on Friday night. The show was the first stop on the Brazilian chapter of the Eras Tour.
Ana Clara Benevides, a psychology student from Mato Grosso do Sul, collapsed after spending several hours in front of the dividing fences next to the Engenhão Nilton Santos stadium. Brazil is going through an extreme heat wave — that day, the temperature reached 39°C, while the thermal sensation hit 60°C.
“I can’t believe I’m writing these words, but it is with a shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show,” Swift said in a story on her Instagram account. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this. There’s very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young.”
The singer also said she wouldn’t be able to speak about Benevides’ death from the stage because she felt “overwhelmed by grief.”
“I want to say now that I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends, she added.
According to witnesses, the Brazilian “swiftie” collapsed and fainted during the second song of the show. Tickets For Fun (T4F,) the company in charge of organizing the event, said the young woman was immediately assisted by paramedics. She was taken to Salgado Filho Hospital, where she died after an hour of resuscitation attempts.
During the show, Swift herself complained about the heat and asked for water to be given to the fans. Newspaper Folha de São Paulo reported that fans on the field shouted for water or salt since many of them were suffering from low blood pressure due to the heat.
Brazil’s Justice Minister Flávio Dino announced on Saturday that the government is opening an investigation against T4F given that people were forbidden from taking water bottles to the show despite the heat.
The national government intervened to allow people to enter shows with water bottles and avoid other tragedies caused by the extreme weather in Brazil. Dino also demanded the organizers provide free water during shows.
Benevides’ father, Weiny Machado, 53, said his daughter would have graduated next year and was already making plans.
“I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl. She was about to graduate in Psychology next April, saving money,” he told Folha de São Paulo newspaper. “I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead.”