Promoter of Steve Aoki Show That Ended in Deadly Stampede Sentenced to Four Years
Spanish concert promoter Miguel Ángel Flores has been sentenced to four years in prison for the deaths of five women during a Halloween 2012 event headlined by EDM star Steve Aoki. Local media is reporting that fourteen others were given varying sentences from 30 months to three years for their roles in the event, which broke out into a deadly stampede as the panicked crowd rushed the exits at Thriller Music Park at the Madrid Arena.
Investigators found that organizers sold 17,000 tickets for the event, even though the arena’s capacity is 10,600. According to witnesses, a group of ticketed partygoers were in a parking lot adjacent to the arena when the doors of one exit were opened. As many in that group rushed into the overflowing venue, fans inside attempted to leave but found the other exits blocked, creating a bottleneck at the opening. Hundreds were injured and five were killed (two on the scene, three at hospital) during the panic.
There were also reports that a flare went off inside the venue, which led to concertgoers trying to leave. Following the tragedy, Aoki released a statement, saying "had I known that there was any distress putting people in jeopardy within the venue I would have ended my show immediately."
As the lead promoter of the event, Flores was convicted of five counts of negligent homicide and 29 counts of causing harm through serious negligence. He plans to appeal the sentence. Other sentences handed down include three years for Francisco del Amo, who managed the company that ran the arena, and two-and-a-half years for head of security Carlo Manzanares.
The deceased women were identified as Cristina Arce, Katia Esteban, Rocia On a, Belen Langdon and Teresa Alonso. Their families were awarded €350,000 ($392,600) each.