Members of a densely packed crowd surged toward a stage and were crushed against each other at a Houston music festival Friday night. At least eight people were killed and scores of others were injured in the chaos, witnesses and officials said.
The victims were aged 14, 16, two were 21, two were 23 and one was 27 years old, while one of the victim’s age remains unknown, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced in a news conference Saturday evening, CNN reports.
There are no people reported missing, the mayor added.
At least 25 people were transported to the hospital and of those, 13 remained hospitalised as of Saturday afternoon, the mayor said. Five of them are under 18 years old, he added.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions. Over the next several days, several weeks could be even longer, we’ll take an in-depth look at everything that took place, why it took place, what steps we can do moving forward to mitigate an incident of this kind from taking place,” the mayor said.
About 50,000 people were at the sold-out Astroworld Festival at NRG Park — the stadium complex where the Astrodome and the NRG Stadium stand — when the incident began just after 9 pm CT, officials said.
Video from the event showed the performer on an outdoor stage —rapper and event organizer Travis Scott — paused and look on in confusion as an ambulance with flashing lights moved into the densely packed crowd.
“Once (Scott) started, all hell broke loose,” concert-goer Alexis Guavin, 23, told CNN. “All of what is to be 50,000 people ran to the front, compressing everyone together with the little air available.”
Guavin added there were “mosh pits in every single direction.”
The company responsible for organizing the event, Live Nation, issued a statement saying they were “heartbroken for those lost and impact.”
“We will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation,” the statement said.