Tragedy has struck the Steve Aoki Halloween concert at Thriller Music Park in Madrid leaving three young women dead and two in a critical condition following a crowd surge. Despite Spanish authorities still investigating the incident, Spin report that a disturbance in the crowd, believed to have been caused from the lighting of a flare, triggered a panic which led to a stampede.
Medical personnel arrived at the concert sometime after 4AM to find five people in distress due to trauma by crushing. Two of the victims were treated on site and declared dead after 30 minutes of attempted resuscitation, whilst a third died shortly upon arrival at a local hospital. It's reported that the crush did not take place on the dance floor itself, but in a passageway located on a lower floor of the building, which connected to the main floor via a stairway.
"There was a human bottleneck at the only exit, because all the others were closed, sealed," stated one concert goer. "There were people crying, crushed; security personnel dragging away those that were trapped."
Thriller Music Park had been authorised to admit entry to 10,600 people out of a total capacity of 12,000, and a spokesperson said that the event was not full, but some attendees complained that the space was overcrowded.
Steve Aoki has issued a statement via his website on the tragedy:
“After my performance last night at Thriller Music Park at the Madrid Arena in Spain, I was devastated to hear that three people had died during a crowd rush at one of the exits. The safety of my fans has always been my top priority and had I known that there was any distress putting people in jeopardy within the venue I would have ended my show immediately. My show in Bilbao Spain tonight will be cancelled out of respect for those who lost their lives and those who are injured. I would like to express my deepest condolences and heart felt prayers to the families and loved ones during this difficult time.”
The incident bears unfortunate similarities to the disaster at the 2010 Love Parade in Germany, where 21 people died of suffocation and another 510 were injured.