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New Focus On Concert Safety Following Tragedy At 'Astroworld' In Houston

by Erin Jones | CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Another person who attended the Astroworld festival in Houston has died. The victim is 22-year-old Bharti Shahani, raising the total number of dead to nine. Hundreds of others were injured.

Dave Meek is in town from Houston to see one of his favorite bands. He calls what happened last Friday incredibly concerning.

He attends festivals and concerts regularly and said there's one key thing stood out to him about the last weekend's festival.

"They really didn't have a safety plan in place," he said. "When so many people stormed the gate before the show even opened, they should've called it off right then."

"Investigations will uncover those areas of deficiency and it's going to allow everyone to make sense of what happened," International Association of Venue Managers Director of Safety Mark Herrera said.

In part, Herrera hosts trainings for arenas, convention centers, stadiums, fairgrounds and more. He teaches how to best mitigate any hazards that could potentially occur during a live event, like a crowd surge.

"I always believe in identifying the behavior,"he said. "Before the crowd surge began, the crowd behavior had to start somewhere and if you have folks that are trained to identify crowd behavior that is not conducive to the environment, they're able to interject and defuse a bad situation before it ever rolls into a potential hazardous or massive crowd event."

"We want to make sure that venues as well as other entities that put on these events across Texas, be it Austin or Dallas or San Antonio. Whatever the case may be, we have protocols in place so other people will not be losing their lives," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday when he launched a task force that includes music industry leaders, safety experts, fire crews, law enforcement, state agencies and others.

During a series of round table discussions, they'll analyze concert safety and develop ways to enhance security at live music events.

"They're really trying to make sense of what happened - what happened, what went wrong, what could we have done better, how are we going to prevent this moving forward and that's key," Herrera said.

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