Astroworld Festival founder and Latin Grammy-winning performer Travis Scott spent the week in Houston, Texas where he grew up, at opening ceremonies for the city in preparation for the music festival on the weekend. The crowd rushed security as soon as the gates to the concert grounds opened but it wasn’t until later during the show that tragedy struck.
Authorities reported that eight people have died and many others were injured as the crowd surged toward the stage during Scott’s performance, crushing and trampling those in its path; 25 of them were taken to hospital.
Scott posted a message of empathy on his Twitter page saying he’s “absolutely devastated” at the injuries and loss of life in the incident that took place at Houston’s NRG Park on Friday night and that he will do everything he can to help the community and the families who were affected.
Around 50,000 people attended the music festival outdoors in NRG amusement park, a former Six Flags site, in Harris County. Houston’s mayor Sylvester Turner said that of those who were injured, “Many of them suffered cardiac arrest.”
Authorities are investigating the incident following reports of people being injected with needles. In a press conference, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner confirmed that one person was revived with an anti-narcotic drug and a needle mark was found at the back of the person’s neck.
The mass casualty event is now being considered a criminal investigation involving police homicide and narcotics divisions, Chief Finner said.
Madeline Eskins (madddeline_____), who says she is an ICU nurse, was at the show and posted a long commentary on Instagram. In her post, Eskins says she passed out because “people were pushing up against me so much that I couldn’t breathe.”
Eskins says her body was surfed above the crowd to safety. She had to be told this because she passed out. “Sam got people to apparently crowd surf my unconscious body to the security guard and I got carried to a little section behind GA and put down on a stool thing. When I woke up I had a water bottle in my lap and had no clue what had happened,” she writes.
When she stood up and looked around “people were getting carried out with eyes rolled back into their heads by security, bleeding from their nose and mouth. I yelled, ‘Has ANYBODY checked a pulse?'” Eskins later states that “People without a pulse were getting CPR.”
The security guard, frantic, asked me to please help him. I told them I was an ICU nurse and then another security guard, hearing that, said, “Please come help us’,” she says.
Eskins writes that she realized there were not enough medical personnel on site to help everyone, so she relieved one medic and immediately began to do CPR.
They did not have proper medical supplies.
“I asked where the ambulance bag is, where the AED is, where the stretcher and ambulance is, where tf any shit is and they said, essentially, there is none,” she continues. There was only one of each of those things for three to four bodies sprawled out “pulseless and blue.”
She witnessed teenagers doing CPR and others trying to help the injured. Eskins says she spent the rest of the concert doing compressions, bagging patients to help them to breath, helping to move people to stretchers, and checking pulses on new bodies as they got crowd-surfed to a safer area.
She confirms that people were trampled and crushed and that “there was no cell service to call for help.” Aside from that, the crew would not stop the show, despite the begging from people nearby.
It took a while for the police to arrive with stretchers, she says. By then “At least two individuals had been pulseless for 15 minutes minimum before they got on a stretcher.”
Following the mass casualty, @nrgpark confirms that the remainder of the two-day @astroworldfest music festival has been cancelled.
The Astroworld Festival is named for Scott’s third studio album, Astroworld, released in 2018, the same year the festival began. The rapper became extremely popular with the track Sicko Mode, which includes vocals by Drake. He has a child with model and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner and another baby on the way.
by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird
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