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Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 7:22:52 AM
by nicholas cheng
KUALA LUMPUR: Six people died of drug overdose at the wildly popular Future Music Festival Asia 2014, forcing the organiser to cancel its show last night.
The dead were Kamal Zekry Kamal Basha, 21, Victor Wong E. Hern, 25, Sabreena Kamarudin, 21, M. Suresh, 27, Syazana Sohaime, 23, and Nor Faizza Mohd Wazir, 26.
City police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohmad Salleh said at the Friday night event in Bukit Jalil, nine people collapsed after consuming methamphetamine at around 1.30am.
One man died at the venue while another died on the way to hospital. Four others – another man and three women – died at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital (HUKM).
Three others remain in critical condition at the hospitals. All, including two Singaporeans, were aged between 19 and 28.
“All tested positive for drugs and the deaths have been ruled as overdose,” SDCP Mohmad Salleh told reporters here yesterday.
The three-day festival, featuring international acts like Deadmau5, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pharrell Williams and Rudimental, had been rocked by reports of drug abuse among the concert goers with police detaining 22 people, including 15 foreigners, for possession of drugs such as ecstasy and marijuana.
In a statement, event organiser Livescape Asia said it had attended regular meetings with enforcement agencies and had certified on-site medical doctors and paramedics.
“In the interest of public safety, we heeded the authority’s advice not to proceed with Day 3. This is also to help in investigations,” it said, adding that details of refunds would be announced within a week.
News of the cancellation was met with dismay by lawyer Michelle Yesudas, 26, who braved the traffic jams to see her favourite electro dance music acts Porter Robinson, Martin Garrix and Knife Party.
“I was still in the car when I heard the news,” she said. “I was so sad. This is the second time that I’m going to miss Porter Robinson.”
Student Ashley Chan, 19, said the deaths were unfortunate.
“It must be tragic for their families but this will remind concert goers to party responsibly,” she added.
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