At least 8 dead, several others injured during Astroworld music festival, officials say
At least two investigations are now underway into the deadly stampede which took placed at the opening night of the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas.
A sold-out headline show by rapper and festival organiser Travis Scott on turned deadly when guests began pushing towards the front of the stage, crushing some and reportedly leaving them unable to breathe.
Officials said a 14-year-old was among the victims, and that a security guard may have been injected with drugs as the chaos unfolded.
The mayor of Houston has vowed to “leave [no] stone unturned” in investigating the disaster, while Mr Scott said in a message to fans that he is “absolutely devastated.”
Livestreamed footage of the event showed the rapper pausing his performance as an ambulance arrived at the venue, NRG Park.
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Kylie Jenner: ‘We weren’t aware of any fatalities’
ICYMI: Travis Scott’s partner Kylie Jenner has said that neither of them were aware during the show that people were dying.
In an Instagram Story post on Saturday night, the model and Kardashian scion said both she and Mr Scott were “broke and devastated”, and that Mr Scott “cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community”.
She continued: “I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.
“I am sending my deepest condolences to all the families during this difficult time and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted.”
Graeme Massie8 November 2021 03:02
Twitter users share video of Dave Grohl stopping a show in 2018
Mr Grohl is sometimes described as “the nicest guy in rock”, and afterwards Owen was invited up on set to play some notes on the musician’s guitar.
But there are key differences with what happened at Astroworld. Apart from there being no crowd crush at the time, the venue was smaller (with a capacity of 18,000) and most of the crowd was seated.
Travis Scott did also attempt to stop the concert several times on Friday night, directing the crowd to give space for a person who had fallen unconscious.
“We need somebody to help, somebody’s passed out right here,” he said. “Hold on – don’t touch him, don’t touch him. Everybody just back up… come on, come on, security, get in there.”
Graeme Massie8 November 2021 02:03
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump now representing Astroland victim
Mr Crump says his firm is now representing victims, including 21-year-old Noah Gutierrez in the wake of the event at which eight people died and hundreds more were injured.
Graeme Massie8 November 2021 01:31
‘We were literally partying in a graveyard’
ICYMI: We are now learning more about just how the crowd crush unfolded, and it isn’t good. While authorities became fully aware of the problem at 9:30pm, evidence is mounting that it started much earlier.
Madeline Eskins, an ICU nurse who was attending the concert as a guest, told the Washington Post that the atmosphere began to change at 8:50pm, just before Mr Scott took the stage. Squeezed and shoved into an ever-tighter space, she passed out about 25 minutes later.
When she woke up around 9:30pm, she says, she saw many other people “in pretty bad shape”, with some lacking a pulse and others receiving CPR or shocks from a defibrillator. “As an ICU nurse, we have organised procedures in place when people go into cardiac arrest. But this was hell,” she said.
Alana Stevenson, 20, said that within the first few songs of Mr Scott’s set people were “really basically screaming bloody murder, asking for help”, and struggling to get free, sometimes knocking each other out but not realising that there was “nowhere for anyone to go”.
She said: “We were literally partying in a graveyard. There was dead bodies and people kept going.”
When rescue carts tried to inch their way through the thick crowd, some people climbed up on them and danced on them. Desmond Gary, 25, told the Post: “It kind of just turned into like, World War Three out there, like people literally fighting for their lives.”
All of this came before 9:30pm.
Graeme Massie8 November 2021 01:01
‘It was primal instinct: I had to get out’
Since last night, people who were in the crowd have come forward to describe their experiences as mass excitement and a desire to get closer to the stage turned into escalating panic and confinement.
“It was like a ripple effect. One person pushed, and everyone went,” 25-year-old Gerardo Abad Garcia from Denver told The LA Times.
“There was like no airflow in there. It was just like primal instinct: I had to get out.”
“You kept going forward, backward – you couldn’t move,” said Julian Ponce, 21, a psychology student at the University of Texas San Antonio.
Renecca Kallabat, 26, said “it felt like life or death the whole time we were in the crowd”.
In one chilling clip taken from the official Apple Music live stream, someone can be heard screaming “help us!” repeatedly in the background (warning: the audio is disturbing).
Another concertgoer, Jake Scampini, told The Washington Post: “I started freaking out. I thought I was going to pass out. I had to breathe out of my nose because I had an arm around my throat and my mouth.”
Io Dodds8 November 2021 00:35
Houston PD says Astroworld investigation ‘very active’
The police department posted a statement on Twitter that said the investigation “remains very active and is in its early stages.
“Our prayers remain with the families affected by this tragic event,” the statement said.
Graeme Massie8 November 2021 00:15
Fan posts video of Travis Scott stopping show
A fan called “wholelottajustin” posted video on TikTok of Travis Scott pausing his set to point out a fan that had passed out in front of him.
Graeme Massie8 November 2021 00:02
Travis Scott sued for ‘predictable and preventable’ Astroworld tragedy
The lawsuit claims the tragedy was the result of “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety” and the “encouragement of violence,” according to Billboard.
Graeme Massie7 November 2021 23:17
Astroworld memorial grows in Houston
A memorial to the Astroworld victims has grown in Houston on Sunday. Mourners hugged each other and left floral tributes to the eight people who were killed in the crush at the Travis Scott even on Friday.
Graeme Massie7 November 2021 22:54
Travis Scott and Drake sued over Astroworld deaths, report says
Rappers Travis Scott and Drake have been sued over the Astroworld event that left eight people dead.
The hip-hop stars have both been named in a lawsuit seeking $1m in damages that was filed on behalf of an injured victim, according to Fox News.
Texas attorney Thomas Henry filed a lawsuit on Sunday against Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster, as well as Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham.
The suit was filed on behalf of concertgoer Kristian Paredes, 23, from Austin, Texas, according to DailyMail.com.
Paredes reportedly filed the complaint seeking more than $1 million in damages after both rappers allegedly “incited the crowd” and left him injured.
The lawsuit also names Live Nation and NRG Stadium, according to reports.
Billboard says that it is the second lawsuit to emerge from the Astroworld incident, after a concert attendee filed a suit against Scott, organiser ScoreMore and Live Nation in Harris County District Court on Saturday.
Graeme Massie7 November 2021 22:37