At least eight people died at a popular rapper’s music festival in Texas on Friday night from apparent overcrowding in an event that also saw throngs of fans break through barriers outside and trampling people in the process, prompting speculation and accusations about who was responsible for safety. Nearly two dozen others were hospitalized amid reports of multiple people suffering heart attacks. At least one of the people being described as victims was reportedly as young as 10 years old.
Video footage and photos emerging from rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert series in Houston show graphic footage of people passed out on the ground while some were receiving CPR as the show kept going on.
None of the victims were immediately identified.
Social media accounts from concertgoers were consistent in their claims that there was not enough security or medical personnel or medical equipment available as it became increasingly clear that people were dying.
Exact details were scarce, but local news outlet KHOU reported that “the crowd began to rush toward the stage around 9:15 p.m. and people started passing out because they couldn’t breathe.”
People who claim to be in attendance were increasingly posting their own testimonials to social media about their experiences. One person who said he was in the front said he also couldn’t breathe when he was crushed but that he was pulled out by people who noticed him.
Another who claimed to be a trained medic suggested the concert staff was clueless, with one “medic” allegedly just leaving the scene where people were dying.
“I watched a girl die in front of me because these ‘medic’ were so ill prepared,” the post said in part.
One person who said they were in attendance claimed to have gotten “squished” before they “couldn’t breathe” but was ultimately attended to by “EMTS.” They said they saw someone have a heart attack in a medical tent.
One video purports to show a concertgoer’s efforts a flagging a cameraman for help being repeatedly rebuffed as the concert goes on with people performing on the stage.
However, another video shows Scott on stage stopping in the middle of one of his songs and asking security and medical personnel to attend to someone who he said passed out.
“Don’t touch him, everybody back up,” Scott told the crowd. “Security, jump in right quick. Come on security, let’s get in there,” he urged.
Another video showed concertgoers impeding the progress of an ambulance by surrounding it with some even jumping on top of it to pose for photos.
Claims on social media kept painting a picture of ambivalent, if not undertrained, staffing prioritizing the show over humanity.
Other video footage claims to show when people started jumping over, through and crossing under the concert venue’s fencing in order to gain access to the music festival.
The deaths and chaos at Astroworld sparked a larger question over who is responsible.
The AstroWorld concert festival was scheduled to last through Saturday but has since been canceled.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.