Crowd movement at Astroworld festival kills eight in Houston

Eight people were killed and several others injured during a panic movement Friday (November 5th) at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, in the southern United States, authorities reported.

In a message posted Saturday, November 6 on his Twitter account, rapper Travis Scott pledged to help the Houston community, the families of victims in need. “I am absolutely devastated by what happened last night. My prayers go out to the families and to all those who have been affected by the events of Astroworld ”, he writes.

The rest of the festival has been canceled

Police have opened an investigation to determine the exact causes of the stampede, and to check the security protocols of the festival, a two-day event of which it was the third edition and which was due to end on Saturday. The concerts have been canceled. Police chief Troy Finner said investigators were trying to verify “Rumors according to which festival-goers have injected drugs to other festival-goers”. One security guard said, among other things, that he felt a prick in the neck during the chaos and lost consciousness. He was resuscitated with medication.

At the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston, Texas, November 5, 2021.

The drama happened around 9 p.m. local time when part of the audience, around 50,000 people, began to crowd to the front of the stage where Travis Scott was performing. In the panic that quickly followed, spectators, mostly young people, collapsed, unconscious, some victims of cardiac arrest or trampled, officials told reporters outside the compound. NRG Park.

“I saw people jump the barriers, they couldn’t breathe, it was horrible”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday Gavyn Flores, who attended the concert of Travis Scott. “People were trying to get out but we couldn’t move”, explained this young man of 18 years.

“The crowd started to rush to the front of the stage. This created a start of panic which caused injuries, people started to fall, lose consciousness and this created further panic “Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said.

A little over 300 injured

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters on Saturday afternoon that there were eight dead, aged 14 to 27, and 25 people had been taken to hospital, thirteen of whom were there. still at this time.

Raul Marquez, 24, said he saw a lot of drinks and drugs consumed during the concert. “They got excited and were just dancing, and then everything got out of hand and they couldn’t breathe, some were losing consciousness here and there”, he said, adding: “Some didn’t care, stomped on them, it was crazy. “

Images of NRG Park circulating on social media showed dozens of people rushing to front gates, stepping over and knocking down metal detectors, facing outnumbered security guards unable to contain the crowds .

Many people could be seen falling, but it was not clarified whether this is the context in which the deaths occurred. Other videos showed rescuers resuscitating oblivious fans in the middle of the audience, as the concert continued. Authorities said more than 300 people were injured throughout the day of the event, including minor scrapes and bruises.

The Astroworld festival was started in 2018 by Travis Scott from Houston. The 27-year-old artist, who broke in 2013, has been nominated six times for the Grammy Awards. He has a child with Kylie Jenner, one of the daughters of the Kardashian clan and reality TV star. During Scott’s concert on Friday night, Canadian rap superstar Drake joined him on stage.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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Crowd movement at Astroworld festival kills eight in Houston

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