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8 dead after crowd surge at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston

8 dead after chaos at Houston music festival
8 dead after chaos at Houston music festival 02:20

Eight people are confirmed dead and "scores of individuals" are injured after a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, officials said.

The "mass casualty incident" occurred after 9 p.m. Friday night when a crowd began to "compress" toward the front of the stage, "and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said early Saturday at a press conference. 

"People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic," he said.

A source close to Astroworld told CBS News police are looking into a drug spiking incident in a targeted area of the festival — a targeted attack on innocent people, including a child. The crowd surge was from panic because people were running for safety, the source said.  

Seventeen people were taken to the hospital, including 11 in cardiac arrest. Peña said authorities won't know the cause of the eight deaths until the medical examiner has completed his investigation. 

Travis Scott
Travis Scott performs on day one of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, November 5, 2021, in Houston.  Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP

About 50,000 people attended the music event on Friday, the first night of a two-day festival. The surge happened while rapper Travis Scott was on-stage.

"At some point, the show was stopped, when the crowd was surging," said Peña.

The event ended early, and the second day of the festival has been canceled. 

"Suddenly we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode," said Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite. "And so we immediately started doing CPR, and moving people right then, and that's when I went and met with the promoters, and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety."

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said authorities will conduct an investigation.  

Travis Scott tweeted a statement Saturday.

"I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," he said. "Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support."

"Love You All," he added.

The Astroworld Festival said earlier in a statement, "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."

Scott, 29, founded the Astroworld Festival three years ago. The Houston native has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards. He has a daughter with Kylie Jenner, and the couple announced in September they are expecting their second child.

"What happened at Astroworld Festival last night was tragic, and our hearts are with those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the terrifying crowd surge," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. "Thank you to the first responders and good Samaritans who were on site and immediately tended to those who were injured in the crowd. The State of Texas is ready assist in the response, and I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to make state resources available to support the investigation."

"Our hearts are broken," said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, adding "this is the last place we want to be."

Contributing: The Associated Press 

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