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Fatal Halloween party was way over capacity

Madrid Arena count reveals 6,000 more tickets handed in than venue’s official limit

The count of ticket stubs from the Halloween party at Madrid Arena that claimed the lives of four young women in a crush was completed on Wednesday, with a final tally of 16,971.

The figure is more than 6,000 over the venue’s official capacity of 10,600, representing a level of overcrowding of 58 percent. The count was conducted by the investigating judge and police officers.

To the total of tickets sold must be added the possibility that up to 4,000 ticketless revelers also gained entry to the venue. The event organizer, Miguel Ángel Flores, who could be charged with manslaughter, maintains that he sold only 9,650 tickets and the overfill was caused by lax security and a rush on the doors.

Many witnesses said that photocopied tickets were being used to enter Madrid Arena, while many genuine ones might have changed hands and been used more than once.

Diviertt, Flores’ company, claims that the boxes could have been tampered with as they were missing for some days. Prosecutors refute this line of defense out of hand.

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