At least eight people have died and several more are injured following a deadly crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Texas.
The two-day festival has been cancelled following the deadly incident, which occurred as the 50,000-strong crowd of festivalgoers rushed the stage at the start of the rapper’s headline performance on Saturday night.
According to Houston fire chief Samuel Pena at least 17 people were taken to hospital, with 11 suffering cardiac arrest. Hundreds more were treated for minor injuries at a temporary field hospital set up at the NRG Park festival site.
‘The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,’ Pena said, adding that people ‘began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic’.
Houston police officer Larry Satterwhite, who was near the front of the crowd when the crush occurred, said the incident unfolded ‘just over the course of a few minutes,’ and confirmed officers had performed CPR on several people he described as having ‘some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode’.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Travis Scott repeatedly stopped his 75-minute set to ask the crowd to calm down and direct help to fans desperately trying to get the attention of security.
Shortly after it became apparent that people had been injured the festival’s organisers cancelled the show, and subsequently the entire event.
In a statement, Houston police chief Tory Pinner said:
I think it’s very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight.
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. We don’t know, but we will find out.
Travis Scott and the the festival’s organisers have not commented on the incident.
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