At least eight people have been killed in an apparent trampling during the first night of a music festival in the US state of Texas, an emergency response official has said.
The fire chief of the city of Houston confirmed the deaths late on Friday night at the Astroworld Festival. The incident occurred during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.
“We had at least eight confirmed fatalities tonight and scores of individuals that were injured,” Houston fire chief Samuel Pena said, adding the causes of death had not yet been determined.
Pena said the incident occurred when the crowd began to crowd around the stage at about 9:35pm local time (12:35 GMT). People then began to pass out from not being able to breathe.
If families have not heard from a loved one that attended this evenings Astroworld festival, a reunification center has been established at 8686 Kirby (Wyndam Hotel). A hotline has not been established at the moment @FireChiefofHFD @houstonpolice
— Houston Fire Dept (@HoustonFire) November 6, 2021
Images on social media showed a heavy emergency personnel presence at the scene.
The sold-out event was meant to run for two nights, and featured acts such as Young Thug, Tame Impala, and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Authorities said a reunification centre had been set up at a nearby hotel for those who have not heard from loved ones following the incident.
Earlier in the day, crowds at the festival had rushed to a VIP area, knocking over fences and reportedly trampling some people who fell but no serious injuries were reported at the time.