Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022
At least 8 dead at Astroworld music festival in Houston

At least eight people died and numerous others were injured in what officials described as a surge of the crowd at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Tex., while rapper Travis Scott was performing.

Officials declared a “mass casualty incident” just after 9 p.m. Friday during the festival where an estimated 50,000 people were in attendance, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena told reporters at a news conference.

“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” the fire chief said. “People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.”

The show was called off shortly thereafter. Pena said “scores of individuals” were injured.

17 taken to hospital

Officials transported 17 people to hospitals, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest, Pena said. Many people were also treated at the scene at NRG Park, where a field hospital had been set up. About 300 people were examined at that site throughout the day, he said.

The fire chief added that officials did not immediately know the causes of death for the eight people who died. A medical examiner would investigate. The deceased had not been identified as of early Saturday.

Approximately 50,000 people were in attendance at the festival, Pena said.

It was not yet clear what caused the disaster.

“I think it’s very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said. “If you don’t have facts, if you don’t have evidence, I’m not going to speak against that. We have hurting families out here.”

Event promoters had arranged for medical units to be on scene at the festival, however once the crowd surge began, those units were “quickly overwhelmed,” Pena said.

Live Nation, the event organizer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Houston Police Department’s Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said Live Nation has agreed to provide police with video of the concert.

Satterwhite was near the front of the crowd and said it seemed the surge “happened all at once.”

“Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode,” Satterwhite said.

“And so we immediately started doing CPR, and moving people right then, and that’s when I went and met with the promoters, and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety.”

Scott noticed audience member in distress

In a video posted to social media, Scott could be seen stopping the concert at one point and asking for aid for someone in the audience: “Security, somebody help real quick.”

Officials set up a reunification centre at a hotel for family members who had not been able to reach relatives who had been in attendance at the event.

Houston’s fire chief said the crowd that had gathered for a performance by rapper Travis Scott began to push toward the front of the stage shortly after 9 p.m., causing panic. (Amy Harris/Invision/Associated Press)

Authorities were looking to connect families with festivalgoers who were transported to the hospital, “some as young as 10” years old, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

The Houston Chronicle quoted the judge as calling it an “extremely tragic night.”

Astroworld is a two-day music festival that was scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday in Houston. The event was sold out, according to the Astroworld website. Saturday’s performances have been cancelled.

The deadly surge was the most deaths at a U.S. concert since the 2003 Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in Rhode Island.

Eleven people died and about two dozen were injured in 1979 at a concert for The Who as thousands of fans tried to get into Cincinnati’s riverfront coliseum.

By admin

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