Swift could be seen in videos posted to social media from the night before trying to help fans by dispatching aides to pass out water bottles and even throwing one to the audience herself.
“It’s with a shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight,” Swift said in a post on Instagram to her millions of followers earlier Saturday. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this.”
The Rio Health Secretariat reported that Ana Benevides died Friday evening after suffering cardiorespiratory arrest in the Nilton Santos stadium during Swift’s concert.
It said efforts to revive the young woman failed and an investigation had been launched. “At this time, the cause of death cannot be determined,” the agency said.
Much of central and southeastern Brazil has been suffering an unusually oppressive springtime heat wave.
Fans lashed out at the venue’s handling of the heat, saying officials had prevented them from bringing in water.
“The lack of organisation yesterday was absurd. What happened to the young woman was a crime due to bad organisation. You just don’t deny anybody water,” said Yasmin Monteiro, 24, who tried to enter the stadium Saturday with five litres of water before the announcement that the night’s concert was postponed.
Caio Wesley, a 25-year-old who tried to carry in four litres of water, described organisers’ attitude in prohibiting the entry of liquids as “selfish”. “I brought all this water to see how long I can last,” he told AFP.
Brazil’s Justice Ministry on Saturday published a resolution requiring event organisers to guarantee that fans have access to drinking water.
“It is unacceptable that people suffer, faint and even die due to lack of access to water,” Justice Minister Flavio Dino said.
In her post, Swift said she would not discuss the woman’s death from stage as “I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it. I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends,” she added.