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at least eight dead and several injured in Houston during a music festival

A panic movement occurred Friday evening at the Astroworld music festival in Texas, during a concert by rapper Travis Scott.

Eight people were killed during a crowd movement that took place Friday evening in the United States, during the Astroworld music festival, in Houston (Texas), attended this year by nearly 50,000 people. According to press statements by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the eight victims are between 14 and 27 years old. 25 people were taken to hospital on Friday evening, and 13 were still there on Saturday afternoon.

“The crowd began to press towards the front of the stage. This created a start of panic which caused injuries, people started to fall, to lose consciousness and this created further panic.said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena at a first press conference held on Friday night to Saturday. “We have at least eight confirmed deaths tonight and several injuries”, he said. There would be more than 300 people injured in total, said the authorities, counting scratches and minor bruises counted throughout the day.

Overwhelmed rescuers

The crowd movement took place shortly after 9 p.m., during a concert by American rapper Travis Scott, founder of the event, Texas authorities said. Friday night, singer Drake, Canadian rap star, joined Travis Scott on stage. According to the local daily The Houston Chronicle, the artist repeatedly stopped his concert when he saw spectators in difficulty near the stage. The rapper, who launched the Astroworld festival in 2018, said he is “absolutely devastated” by the accident in a statement released on Saturday.

According to testimonies collected by the newspaper, several spectators evoked scenes of disorder, with people so tight against each other that many could no longer breathe. Rescue units hired to ensure the safety of festival-goers were “quickly overwhelmed” by the deadly stampede, the authorities also said. Some videos posted on social media showed rescuers resuscitating unconscious fans in the middle of the audience as the concert continued. “Within a few minutes, we found ourselves with several people on the ground who were in a kind of cardiac arrest”, police said, adding that the concert ended after the stampede. More than 360 police officers and 240 security agents were mobilized on the spot the evening of the concert.

“I saw people jumping the barriers, they couldn’t breathe, it was horrible”told AFP Gavyn Flores on Saturday, who attended rapper Travis Scott’s concert in Houston, during which the tragedy occurred. “People were trying to get out but we couldn’t move”, explained the 18-year-old. Raul Marquez, 24, said he saw a lot of drinks and drugs consumed during the concert. “They got excited and were just dancing, and then it all got out of hand and they couldn’t breathe, some were passing out here and there, testified the young man. Some didn’t care, trampled on them, it was crazy”.

Opening an investigation

The cause of the accident has not yet been identified. Houston police have called on the public not to speculate as an investigation has been launched to determine the causes of the tragedy. Authorities said they would review video footage from the evening as well as several rumors regarding the causes of the panic. Footage of the concert circulating on social media showed dozens of people rushing to the entrance gates of NRG Park where the event was taking place, stepping over and knocking down metal detectors, facing security guards below. -number, unable to contain the crowd. Many people could be seen falling, but it was unclear whether this was the context in which the deaths occurred.

“In 30 years of major events taking place in this city or county structures, never has such a thing happened”assured Saturday morning the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, on the CNN channel. “We want a detailed account of what happened”he added, saying that all avenues would be explored and that the organizers and witnesses were being questioned.

“Our thoughts are with the festival family tonight, especially those we lost and their loved ones.”organizers said on Astroworld’s Instagram page, “Above all, we seek to support local authorities”. Nearly 50,000 spectators took part in the 2021 edition of the Astroworld festival, organized over two days, from November 5 to 6. The ten concerts scheduled for Saturday have been canceled. American rappers Young Thug, SoFaygo and Baby Keem were expected this weekend, alongside groove kings Earth Wind & Fire.

See also – Huge crowd on the first day of the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago

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