Texas officials say at least eight people were killed and several were injured in the crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival.
Houston fire chief Samuel Penha told reporters at a press conference that crowds were squeezed towards the stage shortly after 9 pm on Friday, played by rapper Travis Scott.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, which caused some panic, and it began to cause some injuries,” Penha said. “People began to drop out and became unconscious, which caused further panic.”
The show was canceled shortly after several were injured.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Scott stopped many times during the 75-minute performance when he found a suffering fan near the front of the stage. He then asked the guards to make sure they were okay and to help them from the crowd.
An emergency vehicle with flashing lights and alarms passed through the crowd several times.
The fire department said on Twitter that a unified hotel center was set up for families who were not contacted by loved ones at the festival.
“”[It’s] Obviously a very tragic night. Our hearts are broken, “said Lina Hidalgo, a judge in Harris County.
“But tonight’s focus needs to be on the lives we lost to our families. Many of them were very young and tragically young.”
Authorities transferred 17 people to the hospital, including 11 in cardiac arrest, Penha said. Many people were treated at the site of NRG Park, where the field hospital was set up.
According to Penha, about 50,000 people participated in the festival.
The fire chief added that authorities did not immediately know the cause of death for the eight people and said coroners would investigate. The deceased has not yet been identified.
Astroworld is a two-day music festival scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday in Houston, but the performance on Saturday has been cancelled. According to the Astroworld website, the event has been sold out.
The event promoter arranged for the medical unit to appear on the scene of the festival. But as the crowd began to surge, those units were “quickly overwhelmed,” Penha said.
Troy Finaler, Houston’s police chief, sought calm and urged people not to come to a conclusion about the cause of the surge.
“I think it’s very important that none of us guess. Not everyone has all the answers tonight,” Finaler said. He added that there were some rumors surrounding the case that authorities would investigate.
“Until we determine what happened and what has surged, it’s not fair to producers and stakeholders, so we’ll do some research to find out,” he said. “I don’t know, but I understand.”
At least eight people killed in Astroworld Festival concert crash | Texas
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