At least eight people are dead and many others were injured after a crowd surged forward as rapper Travis Scott was on stage at the Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday night, officials said.
“We had scores of individuals that were injured,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said during a news conference early Saturday morning.
About 50,000 people were at the sold-out outdoor music festival at NRG Park — the stadium complex where the Astrodome and the NRG Stadium stand — when the incident happened just after 9 p.m. CT, officials said.
“The crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed — they were unable to escape that situation,” Peña told CNN Saturday morning.
That sparked panic, and the situation worsened and overwhelmed security personnel there, he said.
“People began to fall out, become unconscious and it created additional panic” and Peña said at the news conference.
More than 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the festival, Peña said.
Twenty-three people were taken to hospitals — 11 of whom were in critical condition — and eight of them died, Peña said. One patient was 10 years old, and at last check was in critical condition, Peña told CNN Saturday morning.
Those who attended the concert shared on social media the chaos that ensued. Medical personnel were so overwhelmed with the injuries that some audience members attempted to administer CPR.
The event’s live stream showed Scott pause his performance to look on in confusion as an ambulance with lights flashing pulled into the venue.
Houston police and event security staff stopped the concert “as soon as the situation got to the point where it was overwhelming the resources there,” but by then “the damage had been done,” Peña said.
Peña said the cause of the surge was not immediately clear.
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