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Eight killed as crowd rushes stage at Texas rap concert
Publicado: 06/11/2021

Eight killed as crowd rushes stage at Texas rap concert

Houston (AFP) -

Authorities in Texas were investigating Saturday a tragedy in which the crowd at a huge Travis Scott rap concert surged toward the stage in a crush that killed eight people and wounded at least 17 more.

Around 50,000 people were in the audience at Houston's NRG Park Friday night when the crowd started pushing toward the stage as Scott was performing, triggering chaotic scenes.

'That caused some panic and it started causing some injuries, people began to fall out, become unconscious and it created additional panic,' Houston fire chief Samuel Pena said at a press conference Friday night.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the crush left at least eight people dead and 17 to 23 injured.

Turner told CNN that authorities are looking at video footage, talking to witnesses, concert organizers and people who were hospitalized.

'So we're looking at everything,' Turner said.

Houston is known for staging high profile events, he said, but 'we've never had anything like this occur.'

More than 300 people were treated on the scene for minor injuries in the first night of the two-day Astroworld Festival, which Scott helped organize, authorities said.

Scott halted his act several times when he saw fans in distress near the stage, the Houston Chronicle reported.

- Scott 'absolutely devastated' -

Survivors described chaotic scenes of people squeezed up against one another with many struggling to breathe, the Chronicle reported.

'We were hanging on to each other to avoid getting separated,' one survivor said. 'If you let go, you could easily drift apart.'

One concert-goer quoted in the paper described carrying a man who had fallen to safety over barricades in the arena and watching paramedics perform CPR.

'I am absolutely devastated by what took place last night,' Scott tweeted Saturday. 'My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.'

More than 360 police officers and 240 security guards were on hand for the festival.

Senior Harris County official Lina Hidalgo said it was 'an extremely tragic night.'

'Our hearts are broken, people go to these events to have a good time, to make memories,' she added.

- 'Some type of cardiac arrest' -

Houston police are investigating the cause of the incident.

'Over the course of just a few minutes, suddenly we had several people down on the ground experience some type of cardiac arrest,' assistant police chief Larry Satterwhite said.

'We immediately started doing CPR and moving people right then.'

Videos shared on social media showed paramedics resuscitating unconscious fans in the audience as the concert continued.

Astroworld organizers canceled the rest of the festival, which had been scheduled to continue on Saturday.

'Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight - especially those we lost and their loved ones,' they said on the event's Instagram page. 'We are focused on supporting local officials'.

Other footage on social media showed scores of people rushing the gates at NRG park, with security unable to contain the flow.

Several people could be seen falling over, bringing down the metal detectors at the arena entrance, but it was unclear if that incident was linked to the deaths.

Scott launched the Astroworld music festival in 2018.

The 29-year-old rapper, a Houston native who has a child with celebrity socialite Kylie Jenner, made his breakthrough in 2013 and has had six Grammy nominations.

Other performers scheduled to play the festival over the weekend included the rappers Chief Keef and 21 Savage, as well as the Australian rock band Tame Impala.

During Scott's headline set late Friday, he was joined onstage by Canadian rap superstar Drake.

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