A fan who collapsed during a Rio de Janeiro stop on Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour was killed by heat exposure, medical examiners said Wednesday. According to Rio’s Forensic Medical Institute, Ana Clara Benevides suffered cardiorespiratory arrest as a result of heat exposure, and confirmed the 23-year-old had no preexisting conditions or substance use that would have contributed to her death.
Benevides died on November 17, after attending Swift’s show at the open-air Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos. At the time of her death, Rio was in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, with a daily heat index of around 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to a medical report obtained by the Associated Press, Benevides passed out as Swift launched into her second song at the concert, 2019 single “Cruel Summer.” Event organizers Time for Fun announced at the time that she was “promptly attended to by the team of firefighters and paramedics, being taken to the medical center at the Nilton Santos Stadium for first aid protocol,” then was transferred to Salgado Filho Hospital, where she died.
The high heat caused “serious compromise of her lungs and sudden death,” the forensic report reads.
Fans had waited to enter the stadium for hours before the concert, and attendees noted that security refused to allow water to be brought into the stadium, even though it was in short supply inside the venue. That divide prompted officials, including Rio mayor Eduardo Paes and Brazil’s justice minister, Flávio Dino, to order concert promoters to allow fans access to hydration, as well as other heat-avoidance measures.
Swift also canceled a show scheduled for the following day, writing, “The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first.” Benevides’s family attended an Eras Tour show in São Paulo later that month, watching Swift perform from a VIP tent while wearing shirts bearing Benevides’s likeness, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported.
Rio’s public prosecutor announced last month that they have opened a criminal investigation into the death, with Time For Fun as the focus. “Event organizers will be called to testify, and other steps are underway to investigate the facts,” a statement from the Civil Police Department of Rio de Janeiro read, with the department scrutinizing “the crime of endangering the life and health.”
Time For Fun has yet to respond to the forensic results, but CEO Serafim Abreu admitted via social media last month that “we did not economize in our efforts or resources to follow the best global practices in our industry to guarantee the comfort and safety of all.”