At least eight people have been killed in a crowd surge incident at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas.
Houston fire chief Samuel Peña called it a “mass casualty event”, saying that the surge occurred at around 9.15PM local time, when Travis Scott was performing on the opening night of the two-day event.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Peña said in a press conference, according to Sky News.
Once the surge began, “people started to fall out, become unconscious and it created additional panic,” Peña added.
Chief Lieutenant Larry Satterwhite from Houston PD was nearby when the incident unfolded.
“It seems like it happened with just over the course of a few minutes — suddenly we had several people down on the ground experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode,” he said.
According to the New York Post, Peña said that by 9.38PM, authorities were calling it “mass casualty incident” as medics on site struggled to keep up with the number of injuries.
Peña said “hundreds of others” were injured during the crush, with at least 17 taken to hospital with around 11 suffering cardiac arrest. Travis Scott’s set was immediately called off after the incident.
The New York Post reports that some 300 people were treated at a field hospital on scene.
Earlier in the day, concertgoers arriving at the festival rushed the gates which was captured by some attendees and posted to social media.
50,000 people were expected at the festival over the two days, and it has now been cancelled.
More to come as this story develops.