Texas police have confirmed that eight people died at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on Friday night (November 5), with hundreds more sustaining injuries from a crowd surge.
The “mass-casualty” incident happened during Scott’s headline performance at the event. According to Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña, “at approximately 9.15pm the crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage. And that caused some panic and it started causing some injuries.”
He later confirmed that 17 people were taken to hospital, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest. It’s also been reported that hundreds more were injured during the event at Houston’s NRG Park which was attended by 50,000 people.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Travis Scott stopped his performance several times when he spotted fans in distress near the front of the stage. Elsewhere, other fans climbed camera platforms to try and signal for help.
HFD Chief Samuel Pena: If you have a relative who was at the event and you’ve not spoken to them, you can go to the reunification center at 8686 Kirby. That’s the Windham Houston Hotel. HPD and HFD will be there to assist.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) November 6, 2021
Local politician Lina Hidalgo, county judge of Harris County, described what had happened as an “extremely tragic night”.
“Our hearts are broken,” she said. “People go to these events looking for a good time, a chance to unwind, to make memories – it’s not the kind of event you go to where you expect to find out about fatalities.”
A field hospital has been set up onsite, while a reunification centre has been established at the nearby Wyndham Houston Hotel for families who have not heard from loved ones at the festival. The Saturday leg of the festival has also been cancelled.
“It’s very important that none of us speculate, nobody has all the answers tonight,” said Chief Of Police Troy Finner during a press conference following the event.
Travis Scott is yet to comment on the tragedy.