RBD Crowd Surge Kills 3

Three people died and 38 were injured in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during a February 4th autograph signing with Mexican pop group RBD.

Between 10,000 and 15,000 fans gathered outside a shopping center in the city to see the three-man, three-woman act, who star in the popular Mexican soap opera “Rebelde.” The group was in Brazil – where the show is also broadcast – on a promotional tour.

Authorities said fans were trampled after a security fence collapsed as the band began to prepare for a brief performance after the signing.

The crowd surge resulted in the death of two girls, ages 15 and 16, and a 47-year-old woman, a state representative said. Most of the 38 injured were teenagers. The band members were not harmed.

The incident came only weeks after police in New Jersey and Texas struggled to contain an unexpectedly large turnout of RBD fans.

Meanwhile, police are investigating whether organizers of the February 4th event had authorization to stage it.

Organizers – which include Brazilian supermarket chain Extra and record label EMI Group – said there was no wrongdoing on their part and they were properly authorized. They added that security measures had prevented a greater tragedy.

A city official in charge of the district where the incident happened reportedly said organizers had not yet come up with proper authorization documents.

Some 3,000 fans of the group were turned away from a free January 12th concert at the El Paso County Coliseum because of a fire marshal’s concern over crowd safety, GM Brian Kennedy told Pollstar. Earlier that day, a SWAT team was called out to control about 10,000 people at a Wal-Mart autograph session with RBD.

The size of the crowd forced organizers to cancel that event. A similar situation occurred days later in Patterson, N.J.