At least eight people were killed and dozens more were injured at a music festival in Houston on Friday night after a large crowd “began to compress towards the front of the stage,” the city’s fire chief said at a news conference.
The crowd surge, during a concert by the rapper Travis Scott, “caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” said the fire chief, Samuel Peña. The concert was part of the Astroworld music festival.
Twenty-three people were taken to nearby hospitals by emergency responders, Chief Peña said, adding that of those patients, 11 were in cardiac arrest. Over 300 people were treated at a “field hospital” at the site, he said.
The exact causes of death will be determined by the medical examiner, who is investigating the incident, Chief Peña said.
Chief Troy Finner of the Houston Police Department said that many details were still unclear, including what had caused the crowd to surge forward.
“I’m sending investigators to the hospitals because we just don’t know,” Chief Finner said. “We’re going to do an investigation and find out, because it’s not fair to producers, to anybody else involved, until we determine what happened, what caused the surge.”
Investigators said they had not yet reviewed video from the concert but that organizers had promised them access to it.
“Our hearts are broken,” Judge Lina Hidalgo of Harris County, which includes Houston, said at the news conference. “People go to these events looking for a good time,” she said, adding, “It’s not the kind of event where you expect to find out about fatalities.”
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