Emergency officials have said that there was an unexpected and unexplained surge as a crowd at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival pressed forward towards the stage and created panic. Eleven people suffered from cardiac arrest and were taken to hospitals, out of whom eight died. Several hundreds were injured in the outdoor event that was attended by 50,000 people. The event that took place on Friday was stopped and the events scheduled for Saturday have been canceled.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said that the incident occurred at about 21:15 on Friday. He told reporters that “the crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage and people began to panic.” He added that the panic increased as people fell unconscious or were getting injured in the crush.
He also said event was stopped by organizers after they realized that many people had been injured but the huge number of casualties overwhelmed the medical facilities that were available at Houston’s NRG Park which was the venue at which the music festival took place. Around 300 people were treated for injuries including cuts and bruises.
Officials have set up a reunification center at a hotel which is located across the street from the NRG Stadium.
Larry Satterwhite, the executive assistant chief of Houston police said that Live Nation, which is the company organizing the festival, agreed to stop the festival early. On Saturday morning, as dawn was breaking, there were a few flashing lights and signs by the roadside which read: “Astroworld canceled”.
Judge Lina Hidalgo, of Harris County, the county in which Houston is located, said that their hearts were broken and added that people went to these events to have a “good time” and it was not an event where one could expect “fatalities.”
Travis Scott had started the Astroworld in 2018. The rapper is from Houston and named the event after the best seller “Astroworld” the album he dropped that year. According to Nielsen, it sold the equivalent of 537,000 album sales in the nation with 349 million streams and 270,000 copies as a complete album. It reached the top spot at the Billboard album chart. Travis Scott’s Astroworld musical festival was paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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