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FMFA 2014: Deaths caused by heatstroke, not drugs

The truth has finally been revealed!

For more than a year, many were made to believe that the unfortunate death incident at last year’s Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) held in Malaysia was due to drug overdose, when in fact, it was actually due to severe heatstroke, according to post-mortem results issued two months after the deaths.

A pathologist involved in the case had contradicted police statements which claimed that the deaths were caused by drugs, when in actuality; two out of the 16 victims brought to the hospital did not even have a single trace of illegal substance, reports The Star.

Unfortunately the actual results were not known up until now as the authorities did not reveal this findings and instead ruled “drug overdose” as grounds to cancel several music festivals in Malaysia including this year’s FMFA scheduled for Singapore until it too was cancelled by local authorities fearing what took place in Malaysia would take place again.

According to University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) forensic pathology department head Prof Dr K. Nadesan he had sent several detailed reports which corrected the false statements by the police;
“Generally, the police did not show much interest in the reports. Unfortunately, they made statements without proper scientific reasons, which is not the right way. They should have spoken to us and encouraged an inquest into the case because it is a matter of public interest to prevent similar incidents.”
(Photo source: thestar.com.my)

While it is true that some of the victims who died were tested positive for drugs like ecstasy and MDMA, but it was at a much lower quantity than the average recreational level of 0.1 to 0.25 microgram per millilitre.

After conducting autopsies on the “virtually dried up” bodies, including one which had a temperature of 39°C, Dr Nadesan concluded that the deaths was actually caused by heatstroke.

“I was surprised because when I came in, the impression created from the police announcement was that they had taken large doses of drugs,” he added as quoted in the report by The Star.

“Even the clinicians at the trauma centre were under the impression that these people were heavily intoxicated with drugs and were treating them for overdose instead heatstroke.”

With our heat it is most likely that during the second day of the festival, the condition at the festival was a combination of choking haze, high humidity and 35°C temperature, which became the main cause of the tragedy.

Standing and dancing for long hours at the stadium from 10am to 1am, without sufficient fluids can lead to heatstroke.

(Photo source: cloudfront.net)

Moreover, some of the victims, especially those who taken MDMA, became reckless and overexerted themselves physically, causing their bodies to lose control in regulating temperatures.

Thus, Dr Nadesan concluded that the drugs might have contributed to the deaths but they were not the main cause.

ALIFE - the association that represents all concert organisers - claims that they too are shocked at the news revealed as they are also under the impression that drugs played a decisive factor to the unfortunate deaths at FMFA 2014. According to an immediate statement released by ALIFE:-
"Since the incident of that day, FMFA has been made as a scapegoat for the decline of the live events industry in Malaysia, particularly when it comes to events that promote the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre. Shows with EDM elements have been rejected by authorities for fear of similar drug related deaths recurring." 

With this shocking discovery, ALIFE requested for the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to make public the investigation reports on FMFA 2014 which contains information that until this day,
is only privy to the PDRM.

On the second day of FMFA 2014, six people died at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on 15 March, they were;  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.

The deaths caused the cancellation of FMFA 2014 Day 3 which was expected to feature Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Pharrell Williams, Yuna, Knife Party and Rudimental.

The alleged drug overdose incident has brought a huge negative impact to the Malaysian music festival scene which caused many music festivals to be cancelled at the very last minute, including Life In Colour in April 2014 and Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust in April 2015, as well as the recent FMFA 2015 in Singapore.

(Main photo source: scmp.com)

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