Law enforcement investigators in Houston, Texas were hard at work on Sunday to determine how eight people died in a crush of fans at an outdoor music festival Friday night, the Associate Press reports.
Authorities planned to use videos, witness interviews, and a review of concert procedures to figure out what went wrong during a performance by rapper Travis Scott, the founder, and headliner, for the first night of this weekend’s Astroworld Fest. The tragedy unfolded when the crowd rushed the stage, squeezing people so tightly they couldn’t breathe.
But there were earlier indicators that safety issues hadn’t been addressed before opening the gates to the public. Videos show attendees getting trampled by the massive crowds trying to enter the festival as fences toppled and security gates were knocked over, causing falls and other injuries.
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) November 6, 2021
The real problems began during Scott’s performance, as the tightly packed crowd of about 50,000 began moving forward towards the stage, suffocating several members of the audience. In one viral video, a woman and a man can both be clearly seen and heard imploring a cameraman to stop the show because “someone here is dead.” Yet the show continued on for another twenty full minutes until organizers finally became aware of the tragedy in the crowd and stopped the performance.
.@houstonpolice chief: “If you see something, say something.”
Video shows two kids screaming that people are dead at #ASTROWORLDFest, and “Stop the show!”
— Nancy Levine (@nancylevine) November 7, 2021
City officials said they were in the early stages of investigating what caused the pandemonium at the sold-out event founded by rapper Scott. Authorities said that among other things, they will look at how the area around the stage was designed.
— Jay💖🌹 (@loyyal_jayy) November 6, 2021
The dead, according to friends and family members, included a 14-year-old high school student; a 16-year-old girl who loved dancing; and a 21-year-old engineering student at the University of Dayton. The youngest was 14, the oldest was 27. Houston officials did not immediately release the victims’ names or the cause of death. Thirteen people remained hospitalized Sunday. Their conditions were not disclosed to the Associated Press.
I screamed for help so many times, alerted security, asked everyone in the crowd if there was anyone who was CPR certified. Every call went unanswered. I was told, “we already know, and we can’t do anything to stop the show, they’re streaming live” Disgusting. #ASTROWORLDFest
— Cody Hartt (@CodyHartt) November 6, 2021
[This is a developing story, please check back for updates]