Fan’s death at Taylor Swift Brazil gig caused by heat exhaustion, says forensics report

The death of a fan at a Taylor Swift show in Brazil last month was caused by heat exhaustion, a forensics report has concluded.

Ana Clara Benevides, aged 23, had fainted during the show on November 17, which took place in 38-degree heat. She died hours later at a local hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Following news of her death, Swift took to social media to say that she was left “devastated” by the announcement, and later cancelled the following show in the city due to the extreme temperatures. It had been widely reported that fans hadn’t been allowed to bring water into the Nilton Santos Stadium.


The report by Rio’s Forensic Medical Institute, which was seen by The Associated Press (via The Independent) said Benevides’ heat exposure led to a cardio-respiratory arrest. It also said she did not have preexisting conditions or substance abuse that could have led to her death.

The forensics expert who analysed her body said in the document she had “serious compromise of her lungs and sudden death” due to the heat.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift: Credit: James Devaney/Getty

Organisers T4F did not immediately respond a request for comment from the AP. CEO Serafim Abreu said in a video days after Benevides’ death that the company would change its protocols for events under extreme heat and promised it would offer assistance to her family. Swift also met with her family in the wake of her death.

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation has been opened into the tragedy, with Rio police saying in a statement on Wednesday that after the forensics report is analysed “representatives of the company organizing the event will be called to testify.”

After her death, Benevides’ father spoke to Folha de São Paulo newspaper praising his “happy and intelligent” daughter.


“I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl. She was about to graduate in Psychology next April, saving money,” he said. “I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfil a dream and came back dead.”

In other news, Swift has tied level with Elvis Presley for the solo artist record of most weeks at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart.