At least eight people are dead after a packed crowd surges during a sold-out music festival in Houston. The incident happened last night at the Astroworld Festival in Houston's NRG Park, during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. The city's fire chief says 17 were taken to a hospital after the crush, eleven who were in cardiac arrest. The cause of deaths has not yet been determined, but Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters that the crowd began to compress forward toward the front of the stage, causing injuries and panic. Peña said over 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the festival.
Police confirm that earlier in the day they also had issues at the gates with people breaking through security barriers in an effort to get in. *Video below
"What happened at Astroworld Festival was a tragedy. An estimated 50,000 people attended the event Friday night, expecting to enjoy a music concert with friends and return home safely. I extend my condolences to the families of the eight people who died," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Immediately following the tragedy, the city began to assist with resources and necessary support. A reunification center is setup at 8686 Kirby Dr. for families to reconnect with loved ones who attend the event. Families searching for loved ones may also call 3-1-1.
"This was a major event that happened in the city and on Harris County property. Today, law enforcement will speak with concert promoters and witnesses and review videos available from the event and inside the festival venue," said Turner. "I have called for a detailed briefing from all stakeholders, including Live Nation, Harris County, NRG Park, Police, Fire, Office of Emergency Management, and other agencies, explaining how the event got out of control leading to the deaths and injuries of several attendees."
"What happened at Astroworld Festival last night was tragic, and our hearts are with those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the terrifying crowd surge," said Governor Greg Abbott. "Thank you to the first responders and good Samaritans who were on site and immediately tended to those who were injured in the crowd. The State of Texas is ready assist in the response, and I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to make state resources available to support the investigation. I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in lifting up in prayer those affected by this tragedy."
Astroworld Festival officials have posted a statement on their Instagram account:
“Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight – especially those we lost and their loved ones. We are focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind, the festival will no longer be held on Saturday. As authorities mentioned in their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have any relevant information on this, please reach out to @HoustonPolice. Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support.”