Wednesday 21 March 2018

Teenager dies at controversial music festival after being found unconscious in tent

Fourth death at the event in six years

A teenager has died in her tent at the BoomTown Fair music festival.
A teenager has died in her tent at the BoomTown Fair music festival.

A teenager has died in her tent at the BoomTown Fair music festival despite efforts by paramedics to save her life.

The 18-year-old, from Buckinghamshire, was found unconscious at the festival site at Matterley Bowl in Winchester, Hampshire, at midday on Monday.

A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said: "Sadly, despite efforts from paramedics and the on-site doctor, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious but investigations are ongoing on behalf of the coroner.

"Officers continue to work closely with BoomTown organisers, and witnesses and friends who were at the event are being supported.

"Next of kin have been informed."

The woman is the fourth person to have died during the seven-year history of BoomTown.

In 2011, Deborah Jeffery, 45, from Winchester, suffered a fatal heart attack after taking ecstasy; in 2013, Oxfam steward Ellie Rowe, from Glastonbury, Somerset, died after taking ketamine; and in 2014, Lisa Williamson, 31, from Hereford, was found hanged after using drugs.

Police seized drugs worth £79,000 during this year's event, with another £55,000 worth placed in amnesty bins, although officer said crime levels were down on last year.

The total number of reported crimes at the festival, attended by 10,000 people, was 186, compared with 337 the previous year, with two sexual offences reported as well as three assaults and one robbery.

The number of thefts from tents was 21 compared with more than 100 last year.

The event also suffered a major blaze, which destroyed more than 80 cars.

More than 30 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze, which sent a plume of smoke hundreds of feet into the sky and caused a boutique camping area to be evacuated on Friday.

An investigation has determined the fire was accidental and most likely caused by a discarded cigarette.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager Steve Foye said: "This devastating fire shows the danger and impact of discarding lit cigarettes.

The four-day event featured shows by Leftfield, Levellers and Fun Lovin' Criminals as well as Madness and Damian Marley.

Press Association

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