A “mass casualty” event on the first night of a famous music festival in Texas attended by more than 50,000 admirers of American rapper Travis Scott has claimed the lives of at least eight people, with hundreds more wounded.
The sold-out Scott concert at the Astroworld Festival in Houston had to be cancelled immediately after people began to fall as the massive crowd began to “compress toward the front of the stage” around 9:00-9:15 p.m. (local time) on Friday, according to CNN. Scott was scheduled to perform at the Astroworld Festival in Houston on Saturday.
As hundreds of people stormed the event’s boundary, some spectators were crushed to death. As soon as they entered, several individuals started jumping into portable toilets as security workers battled to keep the mob under control, according to the ABC 13 news website.
In a press conference held early on Saturday morning, Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said that “we had hundreds of persons who were hurt.”
“The crowd started to condense toward the front of the stage, and people began to fear,” Pena said of the incident.
The fire chief described the unfolding events as a “mass casualty” occurrence, stating that 17 victims were transported to area hospitals.
More than 300 individuals were treated at a field hospital that was put up near the event, according to Pena, who also said that the music attracted around 50,000 people.
According to police, eight people have died and hundreds of others have been wounded thus far on the first night of the annual weekend music event.
The organisers of Astroworld did not immediately reply to a request for comment from CNN when it was made early Saturday morning.
According to the event’s website, the third annual festival, which will include a variety of musical performers, will take place from Friday to Saturday. The festival is organised by rapper Scott.
The view from SkyEye over the event venue on Friday night revealed a flurry of police and fire department activity in the vicinity as the event was called off early by the organisers.
When it became evident that numerous individuals were injured, the show’s organisers, rapper Scott and LiveNation, called off the performance, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, according to ABC 13.
Metal detectors and security personnel who were inspecting luggage were completely ignored by the mob.
In addition, members of the Houston Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit were on the site, attempting to keep the tumultuous event under control.