Travis Scott 'Absolutely Devastated' By Deaths, Injuries At Astroworld
At least eight people died and many others were injured Friday night as Travis Scott performed at his Astroworld music festival in Houston.
Fire Chief Sam Peña told reporters early Saturday that the crowd at NRG Park "began to compress" to the front of the stage at around 9:15 p.m. local time. "That caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries, people began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic," he said.
Peña said a mass casualty incident was declared shortly after 9:30 p.m. local time due to the number of victims and overwhelmed emergency crews.
Peña said 17 people were taken to local hospitals, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest. Houston mayor Sylvester Turner told CNN the victims range in age from from 14 to 23.
The causes of the deaths are not yet known.
"I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night," Scott tweeted on Saturday afternoon. "Houston PD has my total support as they continue 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."
In a follow-up video message via Instagram Story, Scott added: “My fans really mean the world to me. I always just want to leave them with a positive experience … I could just never imagine the severity of the situation."
In a message posted on Instagram, Scott's girlfriend Kylie Jenner said: “Travis and I are broken and devastated. I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.”
Live Nation, the company behind Astroworld, said it will provide authorities with footage from the show and Scott is cooperating with the investigation.
Harris County executive Lina Hidalgo said Saturday she is calling for “an objective and independent investigation into what happened” at Astroworld. “Nobody should ever expect for a loved one to go to a concert and not return,” she tweeted.
Eyewitness accounts quickly hit social media.
“I passed out because people were pushing up against me so much that I couldn’t breathe,” Madeline Eskins, who works as an ICU nurse, wrote in an Instagram post. She later learned that her friend Sam Humiston got people to “crowd surf” her body to a security guard. “When I woke up I had a water bottle in my lap and had no clue what had happened.”
Eskins said she saw people “getting carried out with eyes rolled back into their heads … bleeding from their nose and mouth.”
She shared: “People were trampled, crushed … People were begging the crew operating the stage lights and stuff around us to stop the concert and they wouldn’t.” Eskins said Scott – who had brought out Canada's Drake as a surprise guest – acknowledged the unfolding situation.
On Reddit, one fan shared: “We were barricaded against metal gates and security did not respond to demands for help and the amount of people not being able to breathe due to crowd pushing in all directions,” it read. “I don’t know how im alive … I was fighting for my life.”
In one video clip shared on Twitter, a young woman can be seen begging a camera operator to tell someone to stop the show. She shared a detailed description of the horrors she witnessed on Instagram.
About 50,000 fans were at the first night of the third annual festival, which included performances by SZA, Lil Baby and Roddy Ricch. Day 2, which was scheduled to include acts like Bad Bunny, Young Thug and 21 Savage, has been cancelled.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Scott paused his performance several times when he noticed fans in distress.
Earlier in the day, fans rushed an entrance, knocking over metal detectors and running onto the festival grounds. Video clips on social media also show young people scaling perimeter fences to gain access.
This article has been updated since it was first published.