Eight people have been killed and hundreds injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld 2021 Festival.
Described by officials as a “mass casualty incident,” the tragedy occurred as a result of a crowd crush at the 50,000-capacity event in Houston, Texas on Friday, 5th November. Of the 300 people injured, 11 people were hospitalized due to cardiac arrest, and eight died.
Speaking about the incident – which occurred around 9:40 pm local time – Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said: “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.”
In a statement, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner revealed that a 14-year-old was among the eight people killed at the event. He also revealed that the music was not halted until 10:10 pm – 30 minutes after the crush reportedly began. “This is a very, very active investigation and we will probably be at it for quite some time to determine what happened,” he added.
Travis Scott issued a statement about the incident on Saturday, 6th November. “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” he wrote. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.”
“I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. Love You All.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Scott reportedly stopped the performance several times during his headline set after “spotting fans in distress”, and asked for security to step in.
According to Billboard, three lawsuits – one naming Drake as a co-defendant – have been filed against the rapper relating to the crowd crush. “This kind of behavior has long been encouraged by the festival’s founder and main performer,” said one plaintiff, festival-goer Manuel Souza. “His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts.”