Police in Houston, Texas, have opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of the Astroworld Festival on Friday (5/11).
At least eight people were killed and dozens injured after rioting in a crowd on the opening night of a concert in Houston, Texas. The ages of the victims ranged between 14 and 27 years.
The police are also investigating reports that someone from the public injected people with drugs.
The incident began around 9:15 pm on Friday (local time). Panic prevailed as the crowd began to head to the front of the stage during rapper Travis Scott’s performance.
Many people were trapped between the audience and the stage. About 300 people were treated for injuries such as cuts and bruises – and there are reports that there are not enough responders to care for all the injured.
Police investigations into the tragedy will include the police homicide and drug departments. The authorities will analyze the video of the place in an attempt to determine the causes of the panic and what prevented people from escaping.
Several spectators had to be resuscitated with an overdose of anti-narcotic drugs, including a security official who police said appeared to have an injection mark.
“We have a report from a security officer … he was trying to restrain or seize a citizen and he had a sting in the neck,” Houston Police Chief Troy Viner said.
“When he was examined, he lost consciousness,” he added. “He was resuscitated and the medical staff noticed a sting similar to the sting you would get if someone tried to inject you. [com algo]. “
In his first statement since the Twitter event, rapper Travis Scott thanked the police and emergency services and said he was “committed to working with the Houston community to support families in need.”
He later posted a video message on Instagram encouraging anyone with information about the incident to contact the authorities.
Scott, whose real name is Jack Webster, debuted on the music scene in 2013 and has since received eight Grammy Award nominations. He has a son from famous socialite Kylie Jenner, who was among the 50,000 people who attended the show.
In 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of disturbing public order after encouraging people to appear on stage at a concert in the US state of Arkansas.
According to a local newspaper, Travis Scott also paid nearly $7,000 (38,000 R$) to two people who said they were injured in the event.
Reports of survivors of the unrest
Angelica Casas, Give BBC News in a Houston
The night wasn’t supposed to end like it did. The streets around the Astroworld Festival site remain closed and the venue is mostly empty except for staff and a heavy police presence.
Edward, a 25-year-old Houston native and longtime Travis Scott fan, has attended Friday’s shows and two previous Astroworld festivals.
He was in the middle of the crowd when the panic started. As the unrest worsened within minutes, desperate party-goers tried to escape, pushed and pulled.
“I personally made a girl hold me and hold me to save her life,” he said. “I had to calm her down because she literally thought she was about to die.”
Edward said he made a protective circle with his arms around her so she could catch her breath. He was able to pull her out of the crowd and help her get safe. Upon leaving, he saw unconscious people around him, some of whom were already being taken care of.
Another participant, Andy Pacheco, filmed the moment one of the showrunners, Seana Faith, in a desperate request for help, climbed to a stand where a photographer was there to ask her to do something about the growing crowd. She wanted the photographer to call the police or the doctors. But asking for help was in vain.
Later, Faith wrote on the Internet that she managed to escape from a “hole” of people as the crowd became more dense.
She managed to get herself and a girlfriend out and was trying to get others to help.
People come to these festivals to get away from reality and feel that they belong in a musical community. Friday night, that feeling turned into something horrible.
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