Published Nov 01, 2012A Halloween party turned tragic last night (October 31) when three women were crushed to death at a show headlined by Steve Aoki in Madrid. A report from Spain's El Pais [via Spin] states that the concertgoers were caught in the middle of a crowd crush at the Madrid Arena, which was hosting the Thriller Music Park event featuring Aoki and Autoerotique, among other acts.
Around 4 a.m. local time, a team of approximately 50 paramedics were brought in to attend to two of the victims, who were unconscious and had both suffered cardiac arrest. After 30 minutes of attempted resuscitation, the two women were pronounced dead at the scene. A third woman reportedly died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Another two concertgoers are in critical condition, after having experienced "trauma by crushing, possibly having suffered a fall and being trampled."
Police are investigating the incident, which reportedly may have involved a flare being lit off in the crowd, causing panic. The crowd crush apparently did not happen on the floor of the arena, but rather a lower floor that connected to the main level.
"There was a human bottleneck at the only exit, because all the others were closed, sealed," one attendee told El País. "There were people crying, crushed; security personnel dragging away those that were trapped."
The official capacity of Madrid Arena is 12,000, with the event having been authorized to bring in 10,600. Attendees had been tweeting that the venue was overcapacity, with one concertgoer estimating 20,000 were in the venue.
While panic had taken over one area of the arena, witnesses said other exits had been open. According to police sources, the building was evacuated by 6:50 a.m. local time, nearly three hours after the incident.
UPDATE: On Facebook, Aoki has issued the following statement: "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."