Tragedy struck on the opening night of Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas, on Friday (November 5).
At least eight people are dead, and hundreds of others were injured after a crowd surge during the Texas rapper’s set. It was reported that 17 people were transported to local hospitals, 11 of which were in cardiac arrest. More than 300 people were treated at an onsite field hospital.
In a statement from TMZ, a key person involved with the festival alleges “someone in the crowd went crazy and began injecting people with some sort of drug, which caused panic and then a surge.” Authorities are currently investigating if those who went into cardiac arrest were among those injected with the substance.
The Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said the crowd rushed the stage around 9:15 p:m CT. People started to pass out, inciting more panic, when the Houston Police Department declared a mass casualty incident.
“The crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed – they were unable to escape that situation,” Peña said during a news conference early Saturday morning.
Authorities are investigating “what caused, one, the issue of the crowd surge, and two, what prevented people from being able to escape that situation,” Pena added.
The official Astroworld Festival Instagram account shared a statement regarding the tragedy, saying, “Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight – especially those we lost and their loved ones,” the statement read. “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 Houston Police. Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support.”
Travis Scott also released a public statement via social media, tweeting out to his followers, “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. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. Love You All.”
Rock The Bells sends our thoughts and condolences to the victims and their families.