Police have confirmed claims of “needle spiking” at the disastrous Travis Scott Astroworld set that resulted in eight deaths and dozens of injuries.
During the concert, at least eight people died and many others were injured in a crowd crush that authorities have called a “mass casualty event”.
Authorities investigating the deadly stampede on Friday night confirmed reports of “needle spiking” – an act similar to drink spiking, where people are pricked with a needle without their consent, which injects them with an unknown substance.
A security guard working at the festival was attempting to restrain someone during a scuffle when he felt a prick on his neck before losing consciousness, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said, according to TMZ.
“When he was examined, he went unconscious,” Finner said during a Saturday afternoon (local time) briefing.
“[Medical staff] administered Narcan. He was revived, and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if someone was trying to inject.”
Police haven’t revealed what substance was injected into the security guard, but Narcan, the drug used to revive him, is used to counteract opioid overdose.
It’s possible the needle spiking was an isolated incident, with Chief Finner cautioning people to be wary of rumours.
“There are a lot of rumors on social media,” he said, per ABC13 Houston.
“Let me caution people not to buy into the rumors. Nothing is off the table in terms of persons who were there, people who fainted, people who were transported. As far as a crowd surge, all of those things are being looked at. It’s way too early to draw any conclusions.”
Travis Scott released a statement saying he is “absolutely devastated” about the tragic turn of events, amidst claims he continued the set despite please from concert-goers.
Event organizers released the following statement early Saturday morning:
“Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight – especially those we lost and their loved ones.
“We are focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind the festival will no longer be held on Saturday. As authorities mentioned in their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place.
“If you have any relevant information on this, please reach out to Houston Police. Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support.”