Travis Scott pledges to help families as police probe crush at gig that left eight dead

7 November 2021, 07:58 | Updated: 7 November 2021, 08:53

Eight people died during Travis Scott's concert in Texas
Eight people died during Travis Scott's concert in Texas. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

Travis Scott has said he is working to help families of the victims who died at his concert in Texas, after cops revealed a crazed man injected a victim with opioids before a stampede left eight people dead.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Police have also opened a criminal investigation - with claims a security officer was injected in the neck with drugs.

He alleged he was injected in the neck while trying to restrain a concert-goer.

Panic broke out after the crowd began to surge towards the front of the stage during the rapper's headline set.

As the crush began causing injuries, panic grew and the casualties quickly overwhelmed the on-site first aiders, officials said.

Read more: Travis Scott 'absolutely devastated' after eight people die in crowd surge at Texas show

Some 300 people were treated for injuries such as cuts and bruises.

Police declared a "mass casualty incident" just after 9pm local time on Friday during the festival.

Around 50,000 people were in attendance at the gig, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena told reporters.

"The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries," the fire chief said.

"People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic."

The show was called off shortly afterwards but there was confusion with Travis Scott continuing to perform while asking what was going on in the crowd.

Officials took 17 people to hospitals, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest, Mr Pena said. It is feared a child aged 14 is among the victims.

It was not clear whether all eight who died were among the 17 that had been transported to hospitals.

Many people were also treated at the scene at NRG Park, where a field hospital had been set up.

Astroworld is a two-day music festival that was scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday in Houston. The event was sold out, according to the Astroworld website. Saturday's performances have been cancelled.

Drake joined Scott on-stage at the concert - which was live-streamed by Apple Music - and posted photos to Instagram after the performance.

Event promoters had arranged for medical units to be on scene at the festival, however once the crowd surge began, those units were "quickly overwhelmed," Mr Pena said.

In a video posted to social media, Scott could be seen stopping the concert at one point and asking for aid for someone in the audience: "Security, somebody help real quick."

Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite was near the front of the crowd and said it seemed the surge "happened all at once".

"Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode," Mr Satterwhite said.

"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."

Officials set up a reunification centre at a hotel for family members who had not been able to reach relatives who had been in attendance at the event.

Authorities were looking to connect families with festivalgoers who were transported to the hospital, "some as young as 10" years old, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner called for calm and urged people not to jump to conclusions as to what caused the surge.