Madrid Arena tragedy claims fifth victim

María Teresa Alonso dies aged 20 after nearly a month in hospital

The stampede at a Halloween party in the Madrid Arena venue has claimed a fifth victim. María Teresa Alonso, aged 20, died on Thursday at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz hospital as a result of the injuries she sustained at the dance-music event. According to doctors, the cause of death was “severe brain damage,” suffered when she was caught in the crush.

A number of her friends and family made their way to the Madrid hospital when they heard the news. Friends of María Teresa, who said they had known her “since kindergarten,” said they were devastated.

The incident, which took place in the early hours of November 1, left Alonso in a coma and connected to a respirator.

Three of the five victims — Katia Esteban Casielles, Rocío Oña Pineda, and Cristina Arce de la Fuente — died on the night of the tragedy, while a fourth, Belén Langdon del Real, passed away in hospital several days later. All five were aged between 17 and 20.

An investigation into the tragedy and CCTV footage from Madrid Arena have revealed that the venue was over its 10,600 capacity, with as many as 6,000 extra tickets thought to have been sold. Due to the large number of people, partygoers were unable to easily enter and leave the dance floor. Several bottlenecks were created at the exit where the lethal crush took place.

It also emerged on Thursday that the Samur emergency service was not properly notified of the party by the city council, which owns Madrid Arena, finding out about it by chance just a few hours before it began. As such, Samur was only able to send a basic medical team to the site. These claims, aired during a commission to investigate the incident, were flatly denied by a council representative.

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