HOUSTON, TX (CelebrityAccess) — Law enforcement officials in Houston announced that a criminal investigation is underway following a crowd surge at a sold-out music festival that left 8 dead and at least 25 hospitalized.
The incident took place at Travis Scott’s curated multi-day Astroworld Festival at Houston’s NRG Park on Friday with 50,000 fans in attendance.
The surge began shortly after 9PM when Travis Scott was beginning the final set of the night and the audience began, for reasons that are still unclear, began moving towards the stage.
“The crowd for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed — they were unable to escape that situation,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told CNN.
In a press conference Saturday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that police are investigating multiple reports that people were injected with an unknown drug in the crowd, including one of the festival’s security team, who was struck in the neck while trying to restrain a member of the audience.
“When he was examined, he went unconscious. They administered Narcan,” Finner said during a press conference Saturday. “He was revived, and the medical staff did notice a prick similar to what you would get if somebody was trying to inject. That is one part of it.”
Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said that Narcan, a drug used to treat people suffering from opioid overdoses, was used several times on Friday.
However, other witnesses describe the crowding as slowly building over time rather than sparked by a potential attack.
It was going on for over two hours. It just got worse and worse, everyone’s like, you just can’t breathe, you just feel like there’s a weighted blanket on you,” Nick Johnson, who attended the festival, told CNN.
Law enforcement officials said they plan to review video footage of the festival and study the event’s layout to look for potential causes of the crowd surge.
After the extent of the situation became clear, the festival was brought to a halt and later, and the festival’s second and final day was later canceled as well.
“I’m honestly just devastated,” headliner and festival curator Travis Scott said in a post to Instagram. “We’re actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time.”
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Rapper Travis Scott, a headliner and curator of the festival, also released a statement in the wake of the tragedy.
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) November 6, 2021