Heat exhaustion killed Taylor Swift fan attending Rio concert, forensics report says

RIO DE JANEIRO — Heat exhaustion is the cause of death of a Brazilian fan who attended a concert of singer Taylor Swift in November, a forensics report obtained by the Associated Press on Wednesday shows.

Ana Clara Benevides, 23, passed out during Swift’s second song in the Nov. 17 concert in Rio de Janeiro, “Cruel Summer,” and died hours later at a local hospital. Temperatures in the city that day were at about 40 degrees Celsius (105 Fahrenheit).

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

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

Ana Clara Benevides passed out at the show and later died at a hospital. Ana Clara Benevides/Instagram
A forensic report said Benevides’ heat exposure led to cardiorespiratory arrest. Ana Clara Benevides/Instagram

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

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

Organizers T4F did not immediately respond a request for comment from the AP. CEO Serafim Abreu said in a video days after Benevides’ death the company would change its protocols for events under extreme heat. He also said T4F would offer assistance to her family.

Swift said the news had left her with a “shattered heart.” Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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’ death shook many in Brazil. She had taken her first flight to travel from the country’s center-west region to see her favorite singer.

In a statement posted on Instagram after the death, Swift said the case had left her with a “shattered heart.”