The Astroworld Festival turned into a “mass casualty incident” after at least eight people died and numerous others were injured on Friday night (November 5).
An estimated 50,000 people were in attendance for the Houston festival, but things took a turn for the worse just after 9 p.m. when Travis Scott took the stage.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters:
The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries.
People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.
17 people were transported to hospitals, including 11 people who were in cardiac arrest (a sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness).
Others were treated at NRG Park, where a field hospital had been set up.
About 300 people were examined throughout the day.
Event promoters had arranged for medical units to be on the scene at the Astroworld Festival, however when the crowd surge began, the units were “quickly overwhelmed.”
Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite who was near the front of the crowd said the surge “happened all at once.”
Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode.
And so we immediately started doing CPR, and moving people right then, and that’s when I went and met with the promoters, and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner called for calm and urged people not to jump to conclusions about what caused the surge.
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.
Day 2 of the Astroworld Festival has been canceled.
The festival released the following statement via Twitter.
Watch the news report below.
Fans who made it out of the festival alive are traumatized and detailing their experiences via social media and it is absolutely heartbreaking and horrific.
Read a few posts and see videos below. (Please proceed with caution)
This appears to be video of Seanna pleading with the camera man.
A reunification center is set up at 8686 Kirby Drive near the South Loop at the Wyndham Houston hotel for family members to connect with their loved ones who may have attended the festival.
The reunion location is being staffed by personnel from Houston Police, the Houston Fire Department and counselors, authorities said.
City leaders urge family members to visit the location if they haven’t been in touch with their loved ones who attended the concert.
Residents from outside the Houston-area who haven’t heard loved ones who attended the festival can call 832-393-2991 or 832-393-2990.
My heart, my thoughts, and my prayers are with every person and every family impacted by this horrible turn of events.
Source: Associated Press