According to local officials and the press, at least eight people were killed and dozens injured in a riot at the AstroWorld Music Festival in Houston, Texas on Friday night.
“The crowd ran and gathered in front of the stage. It created a panic movement, which hurt many people,” Houston Fire Department Coordinator Samuel Pena told a news conference.
“At least eight of us are dead and many more are injured tonight,” he said. According to Peena, at least 17 people were taken to hospital, 11 of whom suffered heart attacks.
Survivors described chaotic scenes, people being trampled and others struggling to suffocate, the local Houston Chronicle newspaper reports.
“We had to hug each other so they wouldn’t break up,” one survivor said. “If you leave, you can easily get lost.”
Another observer, quoted in the newspaper, described how to lift a man who had fallen on the guards at the scene and then saw paramedics trying on a technique to revive him.
In addition, more than 300 people were injured throughout the day in the event, some with minor scratches and bruises, according to authorities.
Organizers said about 50,000 people attended the Astroworld festival. According to the Houston Chronicle, American rapper Travis Scott suffered a serious accident during a concert and stopped the show several times when he saw an emergency.
Houston police are investigating the cause of the incident using security footage recorded on the premises, which includes the venue, football field and baseball stadium.
Some footage spread on social media showed dozens of people running towards the entrance, while guards at the site were unable to control the flow.
It is also possible to see many people falling on the metal detectors at the entrance of the premises, but it is not clear whether this is related to the incident and the death.
A “very sad” night
“Within minutes, many people had a sudden heart attack,” local police chief Larry Satterwhite described.
As soon as the incident took place, the police met the event organizers and put an end to the show. Presentations scheduled for this Saturday have also been canceled.
“Our prayers are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight, especially for the lost and their loved ones,” organizers said on the event’s Instagram account. “Our focus now is to help the authorities.”
AstroWorld is a 2018 music festival created by Travis Scott. The 29-year-old rapper, who had a son with Kylie Jenner’s model, made her name in 2013 and received six Grammy nominations.
Concerts by rappers Chief Keef and 21 Savage and Australian rock band Dame Impala were also scheduled for the weekend.
During Scott’s concert on Friday night, Canadian rap star Drake also took the stage.
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