Authorities reported Saturday that at least three people died while attending a weekend country music festival in southern Michigan, including two people who are severely injured from carbon monoxide poisoning inside a camper trailer.
The same exposure had left two additional in serious condition at a hospital, according to the Lenawee County sheriff's office. The males were all in their early twenties.
Carbon monoxide poisoning in a music festival
During the Faster Horses Festival at Michigan International Speedway, 80 miles west of Detroit, a worried pal phoned 911 about 1:30 p.m. after not hearing from them. They were sleeping at a campground in Woodstock Township, just outside the event grounds.
Inside the trailer, first responders discovered five unconscious men in their early twenties. Three people were declared dead at the site, and two others were brought by ambulance to a local hospital in serious condition for treatment of severe carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the sheriff's office.
Authorities are also looking into a fourth death in the festival. Melissa Havens, 30, of Croswell, died in a separate incident, according to state police. Havens, whose body was discovered early Saturday, was subjected to an autopsy and toxicological testing. She was spotted with a guy within 24 hours of her remains being discovered, and detectives were asking for the public's assistance in identifying him.
The man was described as Black, in his 30s, had a short beard and short black hair, and was wearing a gray hoodie. Havens' death was not made public, nor was the manner in which he died.
Thousands of people flocked to the Michigan International Speedway, 80 miles west of Detroit, for the event. The last band was set to perform on Sunday evening. Organizers did not immediately reply to a request for comment from USA TODAY, and as of Sunday morning, there was no mention of the fatalities on the music festival's social media.
How can carbon monoxide poison a person?
On their festival fact sheet, the organizers discuss the usage of generators at campsites, stating that generators are permitted except in the infield. However, the clearance comes with a condition.
To avoid breathing carbon monoxide, first responders also emphasized the need of keeping generators away from camping sites, tents, travel trailers, and other similar structures, as well as exhaust emissions from running cars. Officials claim, however, that anyone attending the music event this weekend is not at risk.
Per Daily Mail, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas generated when gasoline, charcoal, wood, propane, or other fuels are burned, and breathing too much of it can be fatal. When there is too much carbon monoxide in the air, your body substitutes carbon monoxide for oxygen in your red blood cells. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when the gas builds up in your bloodstream, causing significant tissue damage or even death.
According to People, the 2021 Faster Horses Festival is the greatest gathering in Michigan since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, with over 40,000 individuals in attendance. Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, and Jason Aldean are the headliners for this year's festival.