Popular L.A.-based DJ Steve Aoki was headlining a massive Halloween party in Madrid, Spain that ended in tragedy when three young women died as a result of a crushing stampede inside the crowded venue.
As reported by Spanish newspaper El Pais (by way of Spin), Thriller Music Park was a large-scale dance party with a reported limit of 10,600 persons in the 12,000 capacity Madrid Arena, although there are accounts of the space being overcrowded, with one attendee estimating as many as 20,000 inside the arena.
When emergency medical personal were called to the scene, five people were said to already be in distress due to injuries consistent with being trampled. Two female victims died on the scene, with a third declared dead after being transported to a nearby hospital.
According to reports, something triggered a panic inside one area of the venue, causing a stampede. There are accounts of attendees being trapped in narrow passageways, while in other areas of the arena the event went on, concertgoers unaware of the tragedy unfolding nearby.
“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,” Aoki said in a press statement. “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.”
Large-scale EMD events and raves have been under intense scrutiny here in America after a 15-year-old girl died and dozens more people had to be taken to area hospitals during the 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local