At least eight people have been killed and hundreds injured after a huge crowd surge at the opening night of Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas.
According to the Houston fire chief Samuel Pena, the surge happened around 9pm Friday while Travis was performing. Scott had a good vantage point to see what was going on, and rather than alert the officials to the stampede happening in front of him, the Sicko Mode rapper kept on performing to the horror of some of the concertgoers.
Jennifer Hernandez, a 24-year old student who was at the venue told Insider that people requested for the concert to be stopped, but festival organizers ignored
“I felt like I was having a panic attack , my heart kept going fast, I couldn’t breathe… and the security for the event didn’t really do much,” she said. “It got really bad, people were just squished up, there was no air.”
A video, shared on Twitter, shows an unconscious man being carried out of the crowd as Scott continues to sing.
At some point the rapper briefly stopped his 75-minute set after spotting fans in distress near the front of the stage, and asked security to help people out of the crowd.
Scott issued a statement on Saturday (Nov. 6) saying he’s ‘absolutely devastated’ and is ‘committed to working together with the Houston community,’ including the police department.
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld festival,” the statement read.
“I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need,” he added.
At least 23 people were rushed to a hospital – 17 of whom were caught up in the worst of the incident, including a 10-year-old, Pena said.
Mr. Pena added that 11 victims were in cardiac arrest and needed CPR. None of those killed or injured have been identified.
A ‘key person’ connected to Astroworld told TMZ that Friday night was actually the result of a ‘targeted attack’ after ‘someone in the crowd went crazy and began injecting people with some sort of drug, which caused panic and then a surge’.
A crowd of 50,000 people showed up for the two-day festival in Texas, which featured artists such as SZA, Tame Impala and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In a statement, Astroworld Festival confirmed that the rest of the event has been cancelled, adding its “hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight – especially those we lost and their loved ones.”
The eight people who died have yet to be identified and police have asked those who have not heard from loved ones who attended the event to report to the local Wyndham Hotel where a ‘reunification center’ has been set up.
Police are reportedly working to identify the victims are are awaiting the medical examiner’s investigation to determine a cause of death.
Read Seanna Faith’s chilling details of the events below.