6 die of drug abuse at concert

KUALA LUMPUR - Six people died overdosing on drugs taken at the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2014 in Bukit Jalil Stadium while three others are in critical condition.

City police chief Senior Deputy Commissioner Datuk Mohmad Salleh said the nine, aged 21 to 28, collapsed about 1.30am yesterday during Friday's event, which continued into the wee hours, after consuming drugs.

One person died at the scene while the other five died on the way to University of Malaya Medical Centre and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre.

The three in critical condition include two Singaporeans.

Mohmad said police arrested 19 party-goers, including 12 foreigners, for possession of drugs throughout the two days of the concert.

"Investigations showed they obtained the drugs from locations outside of the concert venue," he said at a press conference in Cheras yesterday.

FMFA was scheduled for three days but organisers decided to call it off yesterday following police advice after the deaths.

"We will leave it to the organisers to resolve matters pertaining to concert tickets," Mohmad said.

In a statement posted on the FMFA Facebook page, organisers refuted claims that there were five deaths on the festival grounds on Friday, the second day of the festival.

"As of 5pm of March 15 we can confirm that one death, and not five, took place on festival grounds," it read.

Organisers said a police report had been lodged and they were working closely with the authorities in determining the cause of the incident.

The statement also stated that FMFA had regular meetings with all agencies involved in the festival including the Police, the Fire and Rescue Department, Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Millennium Patriot Security, Rela, and the event's on-site medical doctor and paramedics, prior and during the event.

"In the interest of public safety we have heeded the authority's advice to not proceed with Day-3 of festival. We appreciate the understanding of all parties and will share updates on this matter as soon as possible."

Cheras police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohan Singh Tara Singh said the situation was under control at Bukit Jalil Stadium, following the cancellation of the music festival with the crowd dispersing peacefully.

"The organisers had put up clear signs about the cancellation, and even though many who turned up were frustrated, they left after they were promised a refund on their tickets."

Mohan said some 80 officers from the district police headquarters were deployed at the stadium grounds, to prevent untoward incidents.

"Fortunately, the festival-goers were cooperative and all dispersed about 9pm."

Here is a statement by Future Music Festival Asia on March 15:

This statement is in response to news reported in the media on the 5 alleged deaths associated with FMFA last night. As the health and safety of all festival goers are our primary concern, we have lodged an investigation into the media reports. As at 5.00PM 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-3 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.

Additional information:

For those who have a Weekend or VIP wristband with left over credits, please keep your wristbands for refund purposes.

Thank you for your understanding and patience, more details on ticket refunds will be released in this coming week.