December 2, 2021

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Astroworld Chaos: Criminal Investigation Launched Following The Deaths Of 8 Killed At The Festival In Houston

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 05: Fans during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage,)

At least eight people were killed when the crowd surged toward the stage during Travis Scott’s performance at a Houston music festival on Friday, officials said Sunday.

In an interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown on Sunday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that he and his team had met to begin the investigation into what happened at the concert. It will take weeks, if not longer to complete the investigation, he said.

Since its inception in 2018, the Scott music festival has been attended by approximately 50,000 people. Concertgoers rushed toward the stage at NRG Park in Houston as a timer counted down to the rapper’s performance, crowding the stage and leaving little room for movement.

At least eight people were killed and many more were injured as a result of the crowd surge.

Witnesses reported seeing a complete breakdown in security at the venue.. “Out of control” was how concertgoer Julius Tlacuapa described the crowd at the two-day event that kicked off Friday.

“It was pure chaos,” Reese Bludau, another witness, told CNN. Shorter people, he said, would have been crushed by the crowd and unable to breathe freely because of their height.

Between songs, the audience chanted “stop the show” and “help us,” according to Bludau. To calm down, he said, “I just told myself to be patient.”

On Monday, the Harris County Medical Examiner is expected to release the names of all of the victims who were killed at Friday’s concert in Harris County, Texas..

The victims were between the ages of 14 and 27. Thirteen people are still in the hospital, Turner said on Saturday, of the 25 people who were taken to the hospital. Officials said they included a 10-year-old who was in critical condition.

Security at this year’s Astroworld Festival has been bolstered, according to Turner, who spoke to CNN about the event.

Hundreds of Houston police officers and hundreds of private security officers were in attendance, he stated. However, the increased security proved to be a waste of time and money.

This tragedy may have been caused by a series of events that could not have been predicted, said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s top elected official.

“However, I’m going to ask the tough questions until we find out.”

Experts who have studied crowd surge deaths say that dense crowds are often the cause of these deaths.

In most cases, crowds are running away from a threat or toward something they desire, such as a performer, before they come across an impediment.’

Since joining the University of Suffolk’s Crowd Science Program, G. Keith Still has testified as an expert witness in cases involving crowds.

According to him, eyewitness reports are rarely used in the early stages of an investigation because they can distort the picture and only provide a snapshot of the immediate surroundings.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pea said the venue could have accommodated 200,000 people, but city officials restricted the attendance to 50,000.

It was the crowd control at the stage’s edge, especially as the crowd began to surge toward it, that was the problem, Pea said.

Scott, an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper and Houston native, issued a statement of condolences following Friday’s tragic events in his home city.

In a statement on Twitter, the rapper, a native of Houston, said he was “absolutely devastated” by the events of the previous night.

It is with deep sorrow that I offer my condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed or injured at Astroworld Festival.

My full support goes out to the Houston Police Department as they investigate this tragic loss of life.

In a statement on her Instagram Stories, Kylie Jenner, who has a 3-year-old daughter with Scott and is pregnant with their second child, said that she was “broken and devastated” by the news.

Those who were killed, injured, or affected in any way by yesterday’s events are in her thoughts and prayers. For Travis, who I know has a great deal of empathy for his fans and the Houston area.”

Rodolfo Angel Pea, 23, an aspiring model and psychology student from Laredo, Texas, will be on the list of victims. Guadalupe Pea, his older brother, said that authorities informed the family that his brother had died of cardiac arrest, which they accepted.

According to Guadalupe Pea, “He’s a real strong person,” USA TODAY reports. “I’m sure he would have walked away unscathed. There is something fishy about how this happened.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has previously cited the promoter of the Astroworld Festival for safety violations, according to OSHA records.

Since Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s largest live music promoter, it has been fined or sued for a variety of issues, including unruly crowds and equipment failures, at numerous venues and concerts.

Lisa Keri Stricklin filed a federal lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment and singer Gwen Stefani after she was injured at a 2016 concert at the PNC Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Concertgoers were first seated in a reserved section and on the lawn, according to the complaint. Concertgoers in the lawn seats could move to the reserved section and “fill in anywhere you like” during Stefani’s impromptu announcement.

According to the lawsuit, “this announcement sparked a stampede of customers, with many customers knocking over and breaching the security barricades,” the suit stated.

“The rush of patrons trampled” Stricklin, resulting in severe physical injuries, including a broken leg, Stricklin claimed.

An agreement of dismissal was signed on March 12, 2019, by the attorneys for all of the parties involved in the lawsuit, a typical step in a settlement agreement that ends a case.

It was fined $5,350 in 2019 for an accident in which an employee was hit in the head by a six-foot metal post while walking near the staging area.

As part of a settlement for an employee’s finger being crushed while removing a cable in 2011, the company received $4,250. It was eventually amputated.

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