At least eight people were killed and dozens injured Friday night by an alleged human avalanche on the first day of the Astroworld Festival. The tragedy would have been caused by a movement of panic among those attending the festival, which the American rapper Travis Scott has organized for three years in Houston, Texas.
In the southern city of Houston, at least eight people lost their lives during a concert by rapper Travis Scott at the Astroworld music festival, authorities confirmed.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage,” said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña at a press conference outside NRG Park, where the event was held. A wave of panic and fighting among the crowd left the first wounded.
“We have at least eight confirmed fatalities and dozens of people who were injured,” said Peña, specifying that the causes of the deaths have not yet been determined.
“It happened suddenly. It seemed like it had just happened in the course of a few minutes,” said Houston Police Deputy Chief Executive Larry Satterwhite.
“All of a sudden we had several people on the ground, experiencing some kind of cardiac arrest or some kind of medical episode,” he added.
Officials transferred 17 people to the hospital, including 11 who suffered cardiac arrest, detailed Samuel Peña. Many people were also treated at the scene of the events, where a field hospital was installed.
Travis Scott spoke through his Twitter account. “I am absolutely devastated by what happened last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those affected by what happened at the Astrowrold Festival. The Houston Police Department has my full support as they continue to monitor the tragic loss of life.” . I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support families in need. Thanks to the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. I love you all, “it reads.
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) November 6, 2021
An investigation has been opened
The Houston police announced that an investigation was opened to determine the causes of the accident and said that the officers were examining the videos of the night.
Images of NRG Park circulating on social media showed dozens of people running for doors, stepping on and knocking over metal detectors, facing outnumbered security guards unable to contain the crowd.
Other videos showed paramedics resuscitating unconscious people in the crowd as the concert continued. According to the authorities, more than 300 people were injured throughout the day of the event.
The Houston Chronicle reported that performer Scott stopped several times during his 75-minute show when he saw panicked fans near the front of the stage.
The rapper asked security members to make sure they were okay and help them get out of the crowd.
Around 50,000 people attended the festival. The sold-out event was to last two nights and featured artists such as Drake, Young Thug, Tame Impala and Earth, Wind and Fire. The second day was canceled after the incident and the police announced that the organizers are cooperating with the investigation.
The authorities also reported that a reunification center was created in a nearby hotel for people who have not heard from their relatives after the incident.