American pop superstar Taylor Swift, "devastated", mourned the death of a 23-year-old fan on Saturday during a concert in Rio, whose organizers are heavily criticized for prohibiting spectators from bringing bottles of water despite the oppressive heat.
The tragedy occurred on Friday during the first of six concerts that Taylor Swift was to give in Brazil. Taylor Swift has announced that she is postponing her upcoming concert.
Videos posted on social media show how the star tried to help her thirsty fans, sending assistants to hand out bottles of water and even throwing bottles into the audience herself.
“It is with a broken heart that I say we lost a fan earlier this evening,” Taylor Swift wrote on her Instagram account. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am.”
Rio health authorities announced that Ana Benevides died Friday evening after a cardio-respiratory arrest in the Nilton Santos stadium during the concert attended by 60,000 spectators.
Efforts to resuscitate her failed and an investigation was launched, it said, adding that "for the moment, the causes of death cannot be determined."
Much of central and southeastern Brazil has been suffering for several days from stifling temperatures far from normal for an austral spring, with a felt temperature climbing to 59.3°C in Rio on Friday, a record since the start of records in 2014, according to the Alerta Rio system.
The organizers of the event were heavily criticized for refusing to allow spectators to bring bottled water into the stadium.
Brazil's Justice Minister on Saturday demanded that all event organizers guarantee visitors' access to drinking water.
“It is unacceptable that people suffer, faint and even die because they do not have access to water,” declared the Minister of Justice, Flavio Dino, wishing to clarify that the cause of this death had yet to be formally established.
Time For Fun, producer of the event, specified in a press release that the young woman had been “quickly taken care of” and that the medical team had “chosen to transfer her to the Salgado Filho hospital after almost a emergency care hour”.
In her post, Taylor Swift indicated that she would not talk about the young woman's death on stage. “I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it.” “I feel this loss deep within me, and my broken heart goes out to his family and friends,” she adds.
Fans lined up Saturday for the second of three Taylor Swift concerts in Rio. They protected themselves from the sun with umbrellas while firefighters threw water on the crowd, noted an AFP journalist.