Official: At least eight killed in crush at US music festival

Travis Scott performs at day one of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

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.

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.

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