At least eight people have died and 17 others, including a 10-year-old child, have been hospitalized after a stampede took place during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on Friday night, the Daily Beast reports.
As medical examiners are currently investigating the causes of death, the tragic event is now considered one of the deadliest concerts in U.S. history.
On the opening night of the festival, panic engulfed the 50,000 attendees as the crowd surged towards the stage at NRG Park, the stadium complex where the Astrodome and the NRG Stadium stand.
More than 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the festival.
Samuel Peña, Houston Fire Chief, addressed the incident in a press conference.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Peña said.“ People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.” Peña added that the festival’s on-site medical units were “quickly overwhelmed” after the crowds surged towards the stage.
According to reports by Houston station ABC13, the crowd surge could not be contained when Drake made a surprise appearance on stage with Scott. One fire department official said the incident “seemed like it happened over the course of just a few minutes.”
“Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode,” Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite told the Associated Press. “And so we immediately started doing CPR, and moving people right then, and that’s when I went and met with the promoters, and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety.”
Astroworld 2021 was scheduled to continue on Saturday but has since been canceled.
“Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival Family tonight—especially those we lost and their loved ones,” the festival’s statement read. “Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support.”