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Crowd surge kills at least 8 at Houston music festival

Travis Scott
Posted at 8:44 AM, Nov 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 17:26:28-04

HOUSTON (AP) — Officials in Texas say at least eight people are dead and numerous others are injured following a surge of the crowd during a performance by rapper Travis Scott at the Astroworld music festival Friday night.

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The Associated Press reported that officials declared it a “mass casualty incident” just after 9 p.m. Friday.

In a press conference on Saturday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the victim's ages ranged from 14 years old to 27 years old.

"Last night was tragic on many different levels, and this is a very, very active investigation, and we'll probably be at it for quite some time to determine what exactly happened," Turner said.

Turner said one victim was 14 years old, one was 16 years old, two were 22 years old, two were 23 years old, one was 27 years old, and one remains unknown at this time.

The unknown victim was a man, officials said.

Turner said six of the eight family members had been notified.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions. Over the next several days, several weeks could be even longer. We’ll take an in-depth look at everything that took place," Turner said.

Turner said the incident is being investigated to find out what happened and where missteps occurred.

They are also in contact with Travis Scott's people.

Turner added that it is too early to draw conclusions about what went wrong.

Houston County Judge Lina Hidalgo has called for an objective, independent investigation into the Astroworld incident and has directed county agencies to cooperate.

"What I know so far is LiveNation and Astroworld put together a site plan, that they were at the table with the city of Houston agencies and Harris County's energy park. Perhaps the plans were inadequate. Perhaps they weren't followed. Everyone affected deserves answers," Judge Hidalgo said.

The Houston fire chief told reporters that the crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, which caused some people to panic.

The show was called off shortly after people began suffering injuries.

The fire chief says 17 people were transported to hospitals, including 11 people who were in cardiac arrest.

According to the news outlet, it's unclear if the eight people who died were among the 17 people taken to the hospitals.

Mayor Turner told reporters Saturday that 13 people are still hospitalized, including five under the age of 18.

An estimated 50,000 people attended the festival.

Mayor Turner said 528 Houston police officers provided security at Astroworld. There were also 750 LiveNation security officers on-site.

In a statement, Scott said that he was "absolutely devastated" by what happened and that the Houston Police Department had his "total support."

Drake had also joined Scott on-stage at the concert, which was live-streamed by Apple Music.

Saturday's show has been canceled, the AP reported.

Mayor Turner said the Astroworld incident is now considered an active criminal homicide and narcotics investigation.