MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE3, 9:42 P.M) Five people, including teenagers, died from unknown causes during a pop concert in Pasay City, police said Sunday. In separate statements, Closeup and SM Supermalls said they were cooperating with probers.

The five were among an estimated 14,000 attending the “Closeup Forever Summer” open-air concert, headlined by Belgian DJ duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike late Saturday, investigating officer Giovanni Arcinue told AFP.

Among the fatalities was a 33-year-old foreign man, believed to be American, said Arcinue.

“They just collapsed individually. They did not know each other. They were all in different places at the time,” he said.

He said the cause of their collapse was still unknown although police were looking at possible heatstroke or dehydration as the country is sweltering under high temperatures brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

He also said it was too early to say that the deaths were caused by drug-laced drinks, despite rumors spreading on social media.

Ridon seeking House probe

Kabataan Party-list Representative Terry Ridon was sufficiently alarmed by speculation that the deaths were linked to the use of illegal drugs – whether consciously or inadvertently consumed by the victims – that he vowed to file a resolution before Congress to investigate the incident.

“Upon the resumption of Congress tomorrow (Monday, May 23), we will file a resolution urging the Committee on Dangerous Drugs and the Committee on Youth and Sports to jointly investigate the alleged drug-related deaths in the Close-up Forever Summer Concert in the MOA Arena. The proliferation of “party drugs” in such events is an issue we cannot just simply ignore,” he said in a statement.

Strict safety measures in place: Closeup

Closeup, a major toothpaste company, issued a statement saying: “We regret that despite the very stringent measures and precautions that we have put in place to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved, this incident still transpired.”

The company said it was cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

Closeup, the subsidiary of Unilever, earlier confirmed that a number of attendees of its Closeup Forever Summer concert on Saturday at SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds have died. Closeup and SM Supermalls said in separate statements they were cooperating with police probers.

In an initial statement released on its verified Facebook page Sunday afternoon, Closeup did not specify what exactly happened that led to the deaths. Nor did it say how many victims there were.

The company said only that it was “deeply saddened by the events that transpired on the early hours” of Sunday, and noted that the incident occurred despite its “very stringent measures and precautions” in place “to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved.”

Closeup added that it immediately provided medical assistance and rushed “all those involved to the nearest hospital” for emergency care.

SM Supermalls: cooperating in probe

Annie Garcia, president of SM Supermalls which owns MOA, issued this statement:

“We would like to express our sympathies towards the unfortunate incident that happened at the Open Concert Grounds at MOA.

“We are assisting the event organizers, Close Up Phil., its agencies, and the authorities in the investigation.”

Pasay City police probers initially said four males, including one foreigner, and a woman had suddenly collapsed and became unconscious one after the other just before 3 a.m.Sunday. Police noted that they were not together as a group, apparently did not know each other, and were located in different parts of the concert venue, radio reports said.

Closeup, meanwhile, extended its “deepest sympathies” to the attendees’ families, and added that it was now “supporting those needing medical assistance so that they may fully recover.”

It also said that it was “fully cooperating with the authorities in the ongoing police investigations.”

FULL STATEMENT OF CLOSEUP BELOW:

Closeup and its organizing agency, Activations Advertising, and staging agency, Eventscape, are deeply saddened by the events that transpired on the early hours of May 22, 2016.

We regret that despite the very stringent measures and precautions we have put in place to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved, this incident still transpired. As such, strict protocols were followed to immediately provide medical assistance, as well as rush all those involved to the nearest hospital where they can receive emergency care.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who’ve passed away, and commit support in their time of bereavement. Likewise, our efforts are now focused on supporting those needing medical assistance so they may fully recover.

We are fully cooperating with the authorities in the ongoing police investigations

Source: Police probing mysterious deaths of 5 people in pop concert

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