A 23-year-old fan of US pop music star Taylor Swift died Friday night of a heart attack amid Rio de Janeiro's historic heat wave that is already casting doubts on next Tuesday's World Cup football playoffs clash between Brazil and Lionel Messi's reigning world champions Argentina at the iconic Maracana Stadium.
Authorities said the young woman died after feeling unwell and suffering a cardiorespiratory arrest inside Rio's Nilton Santos stadium where Swift was performing before a crowd of 60,000. Resuscitation maneuvers were performed, but she did not resist. At this moment, it is not possible to specify the cause of death, which will be investigated, said Rio's health secretariat. Swift said she was devastated by what happened to Ana Clara Benevides, a psychology student from Mato Grosso do Sul.
Wind chill temperatures at the time of the show were reported to be 59.3 degrees Celsius, despite which attendants were banned from bringing water bottles with them. As a result, the Brazilian Justice Ministry ordered organizers to guarantee free access of water bottles for personal use to the stadium and make available drinking fountains or distribute water to the public. It is unacceptable that people suffer, faint, and even die for lack of access to water, Minister Flávio Dino stressed. According to Globo, more than 1,000 people fainted and had to be treated before and during the show due to heat and dehydration. Inside the stadium in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro, glasses of water were quickly sold out at the equivalent of US$ 2 each.
Swift's Saturday concert was canceled with wind chill temperatures reaching 59.7°C. The announcement was made when thousands of people had already entered the Nilson Nelson stadium. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said the show had been rescheduled for Monday.
The former Brazilian capital is going through its hottest weather since the Alerta Rio measuring system was introduced in 2014.
Argentina's national football team is training in Buenos Aires after losing last week at home to Uruguay their nearly one-year-long unbeaten record following their loss to Saudi Arabia in Qatar 2022. Brazil too come from defeat after losing 2-1 to Colombia in Barranquilla.
It was raining in Rio de Janeiro Sunday morning, with temperatures of around 31°C. Cloudy weather and downpours were expected for the next two days, with sunshine again by Tuesday and temperatures between 25 and 32°C.