At least eight dead and several injured in crush at Travis Scott's Astroworld festival
The second day of the festival has been cancelled.
At least eight people have died and several more have been injured after a crowd crush during Travis Scott's set at the Astroworld Festival in Texas.
According to officials, some of the sold-out crowd of 50,000 is thought to have surged forward to the front of the stage during the rapper's performance, causing panic to break out.
17 people were taken to hospital, with 11 of these being in cardiac arrest, and at least eight are confirmed to have died.
"We had a mass casualty event here at Astroworld. We had people falling out and passing out," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said.
"I've heard of other events like this at soccer, but not here, not in these sorts of events."
According to the Houston Chronicle, Scott stopped multiple times during his 75-minute set when he spotted fans in distress and asked security to help them out of the crowd.
The "mass casualty incident" is said to have occurred just after 9pm and it is not yet clear what caused it.
"Nobody could dream of this. But we're here, and I think it's very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight," Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said.
Local politician Lina Hidalgo, county judge of Harris County, described what had happened as an "extremely tragic night".
"Our hearts are broken... People go to these events looking for a good time, a chance to unwind, to make memories - it's not the kind of event you go to where you expect to find out about fatalities," she said.
There was a terrible tragedy tonight with 8 deaths & 300+ injuries at Astroworld at NRG Park. Right now, please spread the word: we’ve established a reunification center at Wyndham Houston at 8686 Kirby for anyone looking for missing #AstroWorld attendees. Investigation ongoing. https://t.co/9eG1dvZrBe
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 6, 2021
Astroworld is an annual music festival that was launched in 2018 by Scott and is held at NRG Park in Texas. Its name is a homage to Houston's shuttered Astroworld amusement park.
Some of the other acts scheduled to appear at this year's festival were rappers Chief Keef and 21 Savage and Australian band Tame Impala.