Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival Chaos Sees Eight Dead, Hundreds Injured

A crowd crush during Friday’s opening night of rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Texas has resulted in at least eight people dead and hundreds injured.

The disaster happened as a massive number of concertgoers at Houston’s NRG Park rushed the stage, compressing those in frot of it around 9:15 p.m.,

The Astroworld incident was reminiscent of the December 1979 concert disaster in Cincinnati, where 11 people died in a crush to see the Who at Riverfront Coliseum.

It was also not the first time Astroworld had crowd control problems. In November 2019, a stampede outside the festival left three people injured. Minutes before the gates were scheduled to open, fans began climbing over metal barricades and surged toward the entrance, according to local news reports.

Three people suffered minor leg injuries and were transported to area hospitals after being trampled, ABC affiliate KTRK-TV reported.

In Friday’s Houston incident, “People started to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic,” said Fire Chief Samuel Peña at a press conference. He said a “mass casualty incident” was triggered at around 9:38 PM as the number of victims grew and emergency responders became overwhelmed.

Right now, authorities believe at least 23 people were rushed to a hospital, including a 10-year-old. An estimated 11 people were in cardiac arrest. An estimated 300 people were treated at a field hospital on the scene.

Social media was full of scenes of the chaos, which began at the entry gates and extended into the concert location.

Authorities said a medical examiner would determine the cause of death of the eight victims, who have not been identified pending notification of their relatives. People whose loved ones were missing were asked to go to the local Wyndham Hotel.

“Nobody could dream of this… I think it’s important that no one speculates. We have none of the answers tonight,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. He added that authorities have “heard rumors of people injecting people with drugs” at the show.

Show producer Live Nation said it would allow investigators to review footage from the show. Travis Scott is cooperating with law-enforcement, Finner said.

As the mayhem unfolded, “the show was stopped when the crowd was surging,” the chief added.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of fans were seen knocking down barricades at entrance gates and avoiding metal detectors and security guards.

Astroworld began in 2018, but was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 100,000 tickets were sold for this year’s multiple-day event.

Saturday’s concert was canceled.

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