CULLERA – A 22-year-old man has died and 17 others were injured, three of them seriously, after a part of the stage at festival Medusa in the Valencia region collapsed due to sudden strong gusts of wind.
Of the 17 injured during Festival Medusa in Cullera, three are in hospital with serious injuries. The Spanish AEMET calls the phenomenon a ‘reventón cálido’. This surprised the thousands of visitors around 4 o’clock the night from Friday to Saturday. It is a meteorological phenomenon that also caused a Ferris wheel in Gandía to collapse almost a year ago.
Due to the strong gusts of wind, see a video on Twitter here, various structures such as the main entrance and the main stage were knocked down, after which parts of it flew around. Dozens of videos of these panicked moments are circulating on social media.
The police immediately cleared the festival area and emergency services rushed to attend to the injured. All the injured have been transferred to different hospitals nearby.
Authorities have activated the emergency number 900 365 112 for family members and other victims.
The Medusa festival has been suspended
The organization has said in a statement that it will permanently suspend the Medusa festival and evacuate the venue as preventive measures to facilitate the work of the emergency and security services. They attributed the incident to a “meteorological phenomenon with devastating features that caused some structures to trigger unexpected events”.
The Medusa festival organisation also conveyed its condolences to the relatives of the dead victim, the injured and their loved ones. “All our support and affection for those affected in these difficult and sad times. Our thoughts are with them at all times. The management of the Medusa is at your disposal whenever you need it”.
According to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), the weather phenomenon consisted of “warm eruptions”. These are very strong wind gusts combined with sudden temperature increases. As a result, at 3.00 am at the measuring station at Alicante-Elche airport, it became 40.5 degrees with a wind speed of 82 km/h.
Meanwhile, the Guardia Civil continues to investigate what happened. During a visit to Cuevas de Almanzora (Almería), Minister Felix Bolaños responded to the terrible incident. He pointed out that “the competent authorities must now investigate exactly what happened at the Medusa festival to see whether this type of serious incident can be prevented”.
Politicians express their condolences
Several politicians expressed their condolences to the victim’s family and friends. Amongst them is the president of the regional government Ximo Puig. He spoke of “A terrible accident that shocks us all”. He continued with mentioning the Generalitat “will follow closely the evolution of the injured”.
Weather alert for ‘extreme risk’
The meteorological agency Aemet is maintaining code red for large parts of the coast of the region due to extreme heat on the one hand and to warn of more severe storms with possible hailstorms on the other.