Eight dead and hundreds injured are the record of the Astroworld music festival, as well as spectators were trampled during Travis Scott’s concert, with the police announcing that a criminal investigation is underway into the causes of the tragedy.
“I saw people jumping over dividing barriers, unable to breathe, it was horrible”, Gavin Flores, told the French Agency, from the spectators of the concert of the famous rapper.
Shortly after 9pm local time, the festival crowd began to gather in front of the stage, causing panic and injuries, after which people began to squirm, losing consciousness, which caused further panic, authorities said. .
Complaints about drug use
Raul Marquez, 24, said he saw it many to consume large amounts of beverages and drugs during the concert.
“They got excited and just danced, and then everything got out of control and they couldn’t breathe, some people lost consciousness here and there,” he described. “Some people did not care, they stepped on them, it was madness.”
City Police Chief Troy Finner said his department had launched a criminal investigation into detectives from the homicide and drug prosecution departments after unconfirmed reports that someone in the audience “injected other people with drugs”.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters Saturday night that the eight dead were aged 14 to 27 years, and 25 people were taken to hospital, 13 of whom are still being treated.
Earlier, the authorities stressed that more than 300 people received first aid at the scene for injuries, many with bruises.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Penya told a news conference shortly after the incident outside the NRG park where the concert took place that 11 people had been taken to hospital with heart failure.
“People on the ground”
“People were trying to escape, they were trampled and when I managed to push out, I saw people on the ground,” another eyewitness, Logan Morris, told AFP.
Overall, almost 50,000 people had gathered to attend the Astroworld festival where more than 360 police officers and 240 security guards were mobilized.
“In the 30 years that big events have taken place in this city or in county structures, nothing like this has ever happened,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CNN.
“We want a full report on what happened,” he added, adding that organizers and eyewitnesses are currently being questioned.
“Our thoughts are with the big family of the festival tonight, especially with those we lost and their loved ones,” said the concert organizers.
Travis Scott is devastated
The American rapper Travis Scott, who opened the Astroworld festival in 2018, said it is “Totally devastated” in a statement he made public yesterday.
The 30-year-old Texas-born artist has been nominated eight times for a Grammy Award. He has a child with Kylie Jenner, one of the daughters of the Kardashian family and a reality TV star.
According to The Houston Chronicle, Scott repeatedly interrupted his performance as he watched spectators near the stage in danger.
Pictures from the NRG park posted on social media showed dozens of people running to the exits, passing over and knocking down metal detectors, in front of a small number of security guards who could not contain the crowd.
Many people appeared to fall to the ground, without it being clear by now if at that time any of the victims were killed.
Other videos show rescuers doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to spectators who had lost consciousness in the middle of the crowd as the concert continued.
The rest of the festival program, which was scheduled to continue yesterday Saturday, was canceled. Other artists scheduled to perform over the weekend include rappers Chiff Keefe and 21 Savage, as well as Australian rock band Tame Impala.