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Ultra Fest Releases Statement on Security Guard Trampling

Organizers claim incident was caused by ticketless fans "who were determined to gain unauthorized entry"

The crowd during Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in Miami, Florida.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
March 31, 2014 10:35 AM ET

Three days after a security guard at Miami's Ultra Music Festival was trampled by a mob of fans and hospitalized with severe brain hemorrhaging, festival organizers have released a statement attempting to explain the incident and noting that the gatecrashers were "individuals not in possession of event tickets and who were determined to gain unauthorized entry."

"The event organizers of Ultra Music Festival share the sentiments of our security partner, CSC, with regard to the condition of Erica Mack, the security guard currently receiving treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital," said the organizers, according to Billboard. "The Ultra Family hopes for a swift and full recovery." Mack is reported to be in "extremely critical" condition.

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"The event organizers prohibit any form of unlawful entry in to the event grounds," said organizers in a statement. "Preliminary investigations show that the incident was caused by individuals not in possession of event tickets and who were determined to gain unauthorized entry. Every year, the event organizers work collaboratively with police and other municipal partners along with the organizers’ independent security partners to ensure the safety of all patrons, crew and working personnel. Because a thorough investigation is underway, event organizers regret that additional comment cannot be provided at this time. The event coordinators are cooperating fully with investigative authorities."

In an interview with the Miami Herald, mayor Tomás Regalado said that Mack, as of March 30th, was breathing on her own but still hospitalized. He'd previously condemned the festival's promoters, saying that they "acted irresponsibly" by failing to secure the fence perimeter that marked off the event. Two hours before opening to the public on Friday, police noted a need for additional fencing in the very spot where the guard ended up trampled – though none was added. 

"I think we should not have Ultra next year here," Regalado said. "This incident should never have happened."

The Miami police homicide unit is still looking for witnesses to the incident. Local police previously reported that 22 people were arrested on Friday night – 15 on felony charges, six on misdemeanors and one for a traffic violation. 

Sadly, this kind of scene has become all-too-familiar in recent years: In 2012, three girls were killed and two left in critical condition after being crushed by a crowd during an EDM Halloween show in Madrid.

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