Fan at Taylor Swift concert dies amid Rio De Janeiro heat wave


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A fan died at Taylor Swift’s Rio de Janeiro concert Friday night, during a record-breaking heat wave.

Ana Clara Benevides, a 23-year old psychology student, fainted in the front row of the concert and was given 40 minutes of CPR on-site before being taken to the hospital, where she died, her friend Thiago Fernandes told the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

According to Folha, the heat index at the Estàdio Nilton Santos reached 140 degrees, causing a thousand fans to faint, per an unofficial firefighter count. Videos from the concert showed Swift stopping the show twice to get more water bottles into the crowd, and she herself threw bottles from the stage to distressed fans.

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Over 60,000 people attended the concert, and the venue had prohibited fans from bringing water bottles inside. Temperatures in Rio had been soaring all week — on Tuesday, the heat index hit 137 degrees, the highest ever recorded in Rio.

Swift expressed her grief about the incident via an Instagram story posted Friday night.

“I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show,” she said. “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. I’m not going to be able to speak about this from stage because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it. I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends. This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”

“I simply can’t believe you’re not here anymore,” wrote Fernandes in an Instagram post mourning Benvides’ death. “I can’t accept it. We talked about this show so many times, and how I wanted to be with you. I’m so sad I don’t know what to do. You were one of my oldest friends. For so long, and from now on, only in memories!”

In response to Benevides’ death, fans started a petition, which had surpassed 200,000 signatures by Saturday morning, to create a law that would provide free water at all venues in Brazil. Flávio Dino, Brazil’s minister of Justice, tweeted Saturday morning that personal water bottles will now be allowed into concert venues, and promoters hosting shows with “high heat exposure” will be required to provide accessible water stations inside the venue.

Swift is set to perform at the stadium again on Saturday and Sunday night, before performing three shows in São Paulo next week.

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