The third day of the Future Music Festival in Malaysia has been cancelled after six people died from suspected drug overdoses and 19 people were arrested for drug possession, including at least one Australian.
Pharrell Williams, Eric Prydz, Brodinski, Porter Robinson, Knife Party, Baauer and were due to perform on day three of the festival.
Kuala Lumpur Police have confirmed six people suffocated after taking drugs while attending the Future Music Festival Asia at Bukit Jalil Stadium at 2am on Saturday.
Pharrell Williams was due to play at the Future Music Festival Asia, but day three of the event got cancelled. Photo: Getty Images
“The six victims who died were believed to have taken the drug methamphetamine before going to the concert,” Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh said.
He added that autopsies conducted on the victims found “all tested positive for drugs and the deaths have been ruled as overdose”.
The six who died were locals, known as Kamal Zekry Kamal Basha, 22, Victor Wong E Hern, 26, Sabreena Kamaruddin, 21, M.Suresh, 28, Syazana Sohaime, 23, and Nor Faizza Mohd Wazir, 27, according to New Straits Times.
Police confirm they were pronounced dead upon arrival at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (PPUKM).
Two Singaporean men and a Malaysian man, aged between 19 to 27, were also in critical condition and being treated in UMMC and PPUK, he said.
The organizers of the festival said they were “deeply saddened by the reported loss of lives”.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those affected,” they said in a statement. “The health and safety of our patrons is of upmost importance to us and we are extremely devastated that circumstances such as these occurred despite the significant planning and resources in place.”
Police arrested 19 festival-goers, including 12 foreigners from Australia, Singapore and Indonesia, and seven locals for possession of drugs during the two-day concert.
Local district police chief Tuan Mohan Singh recognised the efforts of organisers to establish preventative health and safety measures at the event, saying: “Police worked closely with event organizers, security, Bukit Jalil Stadium and a number of other government agencies in the planning process. A high visibility police operation featuring over 100 police members was in place to work across crowd control and drug detection activities.
“… [Organizers] have cooperated fully with the police on both days to create a safe environment for the public. What happened at the event is unfortunate and we remind all members of the public of the immense dangers associated with the use of illegal substances.”
Future Music Festival Asia had earlier posted on Facebook the following statement:
“As the health and safety of all festival-goers are our primary concern, we have lodged an investigation into the media reports. As [of] 5pm on March 15, we can confirm that one death, and not five, took place on festival grounds on March 14.
“A police report has been filed and we are working very closely with all relevant authorities in examining and determining the cause of this very unfortunate incident.
“FMFA underwent regular meetings with all agencies involved in the festival (including the Royal Malaysia Police, The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Bukit Jalil National stadium, Millennium Patriot Security, Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia (RELA) and our certified on-site medical doctor and paramedics) prior to and during the event.
“In the interest of public safety we have heeded the authority’s advice to not proceed with day three of Future Music Festival Asia 2014.
“This is also to help in the on-going investigation. We appreciate the understanding of all parties and will share updates on this matter as soon as possible.
“Details of refunds will be announced within one week. Ticket buyers are urged to logon to www.futuremusicfestival.asia for refund details.”