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AstroWorld Investigations Reveal Chaos, Risks & Ignored Concerns Before Fatal Trampling


With 8 Dead & More Than 300 Injured, Many Are Demanding Answers About What Happened & Why

Mayhem, panic, and sheer terror turned Houston’s AstroWorld Festival into a deadly nightmare on Friday, November 5, 2021. The tragedy occurred just after 9 p.m. at NRG Park when Rapper Travis Scott, the festival’s founder, took the stage in front of a sold-out stadium packed with 50,000 concertgoers.

According to authorities, that’s when a crowd surge turned deadly. Within 30 minutes, several people had been killed, including a victim as young as 14 years old. Hundreds more were injured when the initial wave of fear sparked aftershocks of panic as more and more people lost consciousness.


(Source: ABC 13 )

Amid the chaos, fans were reportedly pleading for Travis Scott to end the show, chanting “Stop the Show,” as an ambulance made its way through the crowd. However, he continued performing for 30 minutes after the incident had been deemed a “mass casualty event,” explaining that he was unaware of what was happening at the time.  

By 10:10 p.m., the show had been stopped, and emergency responders were assisting the many victims. As the dust settled, about 300 injured people ended up receiving treatment at on-site “field hospitals.” More than 20 others were taken by ambulance to local hospitals, with a few remaining in critical condition days after the event.

Now, victims, families, and investigators are looking for answers about what exactly caused the stampede and what could have been done to prevent it.

AstroWorld Investigations Underway: What We Know So Far

Multiple investigations into the AstroWorld stampede are now underway, with officials from the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Houston Fire Department (HFD) leading the effort.

These inquiries are expected to take some time as authorities gather and review various evidence, including (but not limited to):

  • Video footage of the incident
  • Event permits and security setup
  • Security protocols and actions
  • Venue design, layout, and emergency exits
  • Venue inspection records
  • Statements from concertgoers and event organizers

Officials are hoping that this and other evidence will shed more light on some key issues, including (but not limited to):

  • What caused the crowd to surge out of control : Initial reports indicate that the deadly panic and trampling seemed to occur over about 30 minutes to an hour. Yet, some concertgoers said crowd problems were happening for at least a few hours prior to that. In fact, many reported that they couldn’t breathe and that they felt like they were drowning in a “sea of people” well before things turned deadly. It’s still unclear, however, what factors led to the fatal crowd surge.
  • What prevented people from safely escaping : Before the trampling, concertgoers described the crowd being packed so tight that they couldn’t take even one step. Some even said their feet were not even touching the ground. Once panic set in and rippled through the crowd, it snowballed as people had nowhere to go or move. Many were trampled as terrified attendees tried to escape. Others desperately attempted to climb production platforms, security gates, vehicles, and the stage itself to flee and try to escape the deadly stampede.

     

  • Whether someone was injecting concertgoers with drugs : As fear gave way to pandemonium at NRG Park, unverified stories of someone injecting the crowd with drugs only added to the chaos. A security guard, thought to have been a victim of this attack, fell unconscious and reportedly had an injection-like wound on his neck. Officials say he was revived with Narcan, a drug overdose treatment that was administered to several others at the event.

     

  • The precise cause(s) of death : At this time, it’s unclear whether suffocation, crushing injuries, potential drug injections, and/or other harm contributed to the deaths at AstroWorld. So far, the victims lost in this horrible event range in age from 14 to 27. Authorities say it could take weeks for autopsies to pinpoint the cause(s) of death — and that the death count from this event could rise in the days ahead, as some victims are still fighting for their lives.

Commenting on this mass casualty event, Governor Gregg Abbott stated :

What happened at AstroWorld Festival last night was tragic, and our hearts are with those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the terrifying crowd surge… Thank you to the first responders and good Samaritans who were on-site and immediately tended to those who were injured in the crowd. The State of Texas is ready to assist in the response, and I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to make state resources available to support the investigation. I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in lifting up in prayer those affected by this tragedy.

AstroWorld Crowd Problems Earlier in the Day

Hours before the 2021 AstroWorld Festival devolved into a horrific scene, reports indicate that there had problems with crowd control and stampeding. Video recorded Friday afternoon as the venue opened showed concertgoers charging the site’s perimeter, climbing on portable toilets, jumping security gates, and charging the venue’s entrance. Several others pushed past the security checks and metal detectors in a mad rush to enter NRG Park.

While the VIP entrance was destroyed before the concert even started, some fans were trampled before entering the venue. More than 20 others were arrested for trespassing.

As we were arriving at the Astroworld Festival at NRG Park right at 2:00, a stampede burst through the gates. Hundreds of people destroyed the VIP security entrance, bypassing the checkpoint. People were trampled. Some were detained.

(Excuse any language you may hear)

These red flags earlier in the day have led some to ask whether the event had sufficient security. According to statements from Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, however, security for AstroWorld was sufficient and included  528 Houston police officers and 755 other private security officers from Live Nation.

Yet, one report notes that Chief Finner did express his concerns about crowd control to Scott earlier that day. That has sparked many questions about the foreseeability of the deadly stampede. With the earlier trampling at the venue — and clear red flags of a volatile crowd plus Chief Finner reportedly speaking up about crowd concerns — what could and should have been done to prevent the stampede and safely manage fans during the show?

This is just one question officials hope to answer as they focus on “leaving no stone unturned” in their ongoing investigations.

Travis Scott Known for Inciting Crowds at Past Concerts

The Houston AstroWorld trampling incident is not the first time Rapper Travis Scott has been at the center of crowd problems and controversy at his shows. In fact, the rapper has been arrested twice in the past six years for encouraging fans at his shows to rush the stage and charge through security.

In August 2015, Scott was arrested in Chicago and charged with disorderly conduct after inciting fans at Lollapalooza to push past security barriers. In May 2017, the rapper was arrested after an Arkansas concert and charged with disorderly conduct, inciting a riot, and endangering the welfare of a minor after, once again, encouraging concertgoers to rush the stage. During the May incident, security guards, police officers, and others were injured by the rushing crowd.

Responding to the AstroWorld tragedy, Scott has expressed support for the victims and has vowed to assist investigators.

AstroWorld Lawsuits Already Filed, More Expected to Follow

Authorities say it could take weeks to months to gain a better understanding of what happened at AstroWorld, whether criminal charges should be filed, and what the true scope of the damage is. Some warn that more deaths could follow — especially if any negligence that may have been involved in causing this incident doesn’t come to light.

While many victims are still reeling from the injuries and trauma they suffered at AstroWorld, some have already taken action to file lawsuits against Live Nation, Travis Scott, Score more (the concert promoter), and others.

If you are a victim or a witness with potential knowledge, no matter how minor it may seem, please contact us to share your information. We can make sure it gets to the right place.

We are looking for additional videos, photos, witnesses, and any information or evidence about how this mass casualty event occurred and what could have prevented it. Please contact us 24/7 if you can help. Your information or evidence could help victims get justice. You may email us here.

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