Eight Killed, ‘Hundreds’ Injured in The Texas Astroworld Festival

At least eight people are dead and ‘hundreds’ more injured during a crush and stampede on the opening night of rapper Travis Scott’s sold-out Astroworld Festival in Texas on Friday night, officials said. 

A compression of the crowd toward the stage occurred just after 9pm local time while Scott was performing at NRG Park, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena told reporters at a news conference.

A crowd of 50,000 showed up for the two-day event, tickets for which sold out within an hour of going live in May this year after the annual mass event was cancelled last year due to Covid.

Houston Fire Department transported 17 people to hospitals, with 11 of those transported in cardiac arrest, CBS News affiliate KHOU 11 News Houston reported. Many people were also treated at the scene at NRG Park, where a field hospital had been set up.

It is unclear what caused the injuries, but it is feared that hundreds – including children as young as 10 – have been hurt.

Harrowing footage on social media shows a distressing scene as paramedics perform CPR on several people on the floor within the crowd as a performance continues on the stage in Houston.

The show was called off shortly after several people were injured, and the second day of the event has been cancelled.

They said they are classifying it as a ‘level 2’ incident due to the number of calls they are receiving.

‘We had at least eight confirmed fatalities tonight and scores of individuals that were injured,’ Mr Pena said, adding the cause of death was unknown following a mass casualty event.

‘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.’

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner added: ‘I think it’s very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight. If you don’t have facts, if you don’t have evidence, I’m not going to speak against that. We have hurting families out here.’

The Houston Chronicle said Scott stopped multiple times during his 75-minute performance when he spotted fans in distress near the front of the stage.

He asked security to make sure they were OK and help them out of the crowd. Emergency vehicles, lights and alarms flashing, cut through the crowds several times.

The Houston Chronicle quoted Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as calling it an ‘extremely tragic night.’

The Houston Fire Department earlier said in a tweet that it was on scene after receiving reports of multiple civilian injuries.

Astroworld is rapper Scott’s music festival and is being attended by a host of celebrities, including Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner. Tickets sold for $180 for general admission and $490 for ‘stargazer’ tickets.

Multiple fans were trampled as hundreds rushed the event’s perimeter on Friday afternoon. Once inside, people began climbing onto portable loos as security tried and contain the crowd.

An ABC News reporter from Houston’s local affiliate, Mycah Hatfield, had reported via Twitter that chaos ensued during day one of the festival as soon as doors opened at 2 p.m.

‘A stampede burst through the gates. Hundreds of people destroyed the VIP security entrance, bypassing the checkpoint. People were trampled. Some were detained,’ she wrote of the scene at NRG Park.

One person who was detained by security told ABC13: ‘I just really wanted to be inside the festival so bad.’

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