HOUSTON (AP) — At least eight folks died and numerous others had been injured in what officers described as a surge of the group at the Astroworld music pageant in Houston whereas rapper Travis Scott was performing.
Officials declared a “mass casualty incident” simply after 9 p.m. Friday throughout the pageant the place an estimated 50,000 folks had been in attendance, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña advised reporters at a information convention.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” the fireplace chief mentioned. “People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.”
The present was referred to as off shortly thereafter. The hearth chief mentioned “scores of individuals” had been injured.
Officials transported 17 folks to hospitals, together with 11 who had been in cardiac arrest, Peña mentioned. It wasn’t clear whether or not all eight who died had been among the many 17 that had been transported to hospitals. Many folks had been additionally handled at the scene at NRG Park, the place a subject hospital had been arrange. About 300 folks had been examined at that web site all through the day, he mentioned.
Astroworld is a two-day music pageant that was scheduled to happen Friday and Saturday in Houston. The occasion was bought out, based on the Astroworld web site. Saturday’s performances have been canceled.
The deaths referred to as to thoughts a 1979 live performance for The Who the place 11 folks died and about two dozen had been injured as hundreds of followers tried to get into Cincinnati’s riverfront coliseum.
Scott, one among music’s greatest younger stars, launched two new songs earlier Friday, “Mafia” and “Escape Plan.” The 29-year-old Houston native has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards. He has a 3-year-old daughter, Stormi, with Kylie Jenner, who introduced in September that she’s pregnant with their second little one.
Drake joined Scott on-stage at the live performance — which was livestreamed by Apple Music — and posted images to Instagram after the efficiency.
Event promoters had organized for medical items to be on scene at the pageant, nonetheless as soon as the group surge started, these items had been “quickly overwhelmed,” Peña mentioned.
In a video posted to social media, Scott could possibly be seen stopping the live performance at one level and asking for support for somebody in the viewers: “Security, somebody help real quick.”
Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite was close to the entrance of the group and mentioned it appeared 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 mentioned. “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.”
Peña mentioned officers didn’t instantly know the causes of loss of life for the eight individuals who died. A health worker would examine. The deceased had not been recognized as of early Saturday.
Officials arrange a reunification heart at a lodge for members of the family who had not been capable of attain kinfolk who had been in attendance at the occasion. Authorities had been trying to join households with festivalgoers who had been transported to the hospital, “some as young as 10” years outdated, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo mentioned.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner referred to as for calm and urged folks to not soar to conclusions as to what precipitated the surge.
“I think it’s very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight,” Finner mentioned. He added that there have been a number of rumors surrounding the occasion that authorities would look into.
“We’re going to do an investigation and find out because it’s not fair to the producers, to anybody else involved, until we determine what happened, what caused the surge,” he mentioned. (*8*)
The Associated Press reached out to a consultant for Scott however didn’t instantly hear again.
Finner advised reporters that Scott and the occasion promoters cooperated with police.
Scott based Astroworld Festival in 2018 and it has taken place at the previous web site of Six Flags AstroWorld annually since, apart from in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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