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Houston leaders seek clues to a concert surge that killed eight people | Chicago News

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke at a news conference in Houston on Saturday, November 6, 2021 after several people were killed and scores were injured at a music festival the night before. (AP Photo / Michael Wyck)

Authorities watched a video or interviewed witnesses to determine how eight people died at the Houston Music Festival when fans suddenly soared towards the stage to see rapper Travis Scott. He said he would interview and check the concert protocol.

City officials said they were in the early stages of investigating the turmoil at Astroworld on Saturday and Friday night. This was a two-day sold-out event at NRG Park, with an estimated 50,000 participants. One attendee said the crowd had moved forward when the timer clicked down to the start of Scott’s performance.

“As soon as he jumped out on stage, it took over the energy and everything seemed to go wrong,” said concert attendee Near Ala Goods. “Suddenly your ribs are crushed. There is someone’s arm around your neck. You are trying to breathe, but you can’t.”

Goods said she bit a man on her shoulder to move him because she was desperate to get out.

According to Mayor Sylvester Turner, the dead were between the ages of 14 and 27, with 13 still hospitalized on Saturday. He called the disaster “a tragedy at many different levels” and said it was too early to come to a conclusion about what went wrong. Dozens of people were injured.

Judge Lina Hidalgo, the highest elected official in Harris County, said: “But I ask a difficult question until we decide on it.”

Experts studying deaths caused by crowd surges say they are often the result of density — too many people packed into small spaces. Crowds often escape perceived threats or run towards what they want, such as performers, before hitting a barrier.

The drone image shows the Astroworld stage area on Saturday, November 6, 2021 in Houston. Several people were killed and many others were injured when authorities explained that the audience had surged at the festival while Travis Scott was playing on Friday night. (Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle via AP)The drone image shows the Astroworld stage area on Saturday, November 6, 2021 in Houston. Several people were killed and many others were injured when authorities explained that the audience had surged at the festival while Travis Scott was playing on Friday night. (Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle via AP)

G. Keith Still, a visiting professor at Suffolk University in the United Kingdom, testified as an expert witness in a proceeding involving the crowd. He said he usually does not see witness reports early in the analysis of the case, as emotions can cloud the image and witnesses can only see what is in their immediate vicinity. ..

According to the Fire Service Act, the venue could have accommodated 200,000 people, but city officials limited attendance to 50,000, said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Penha.

“The problem was the control of the crowd at the time of the stage, especially when the crowd began to soar towards the stage,” Penha said.

The dead reminded me of a 1979 concert by The Who, who died 11 when thousands of fans tried to enter the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati. Other past crowd catastrophes include the deaths of 97 people at the overcrowded Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, in 1989, and numerous disasters associated with Saudi Arabia’s annual Mecca pilgrimage.

People in the Houston crowd reported a lot of pushes and pushes during the performances leading up to Scott’s set.

Then when Scott went on stage, the crowd seemed to be in a hurry to get closer to the stage, said Nick Johnson, a senior at Friendswood’s high school on the outskirts of Houston at the concert.

“Everyone was fainting around you, and everyone was trying to help each other. But you just couldn’t move. You couldn’t do anything. Raise your arms. I can’t even do it, “said Johnson. “It got worse and worse.”

Johnson said fans began to crush each other and people began to scream. He said it felt like 100 degrees in the crowd.

Scott seemed aware that something was happening in the crowd, but Johnson said he might not have understood the seriousness of the situation. Social media posts show that while Scott is playing, fans who look like dozens of lines from the stage are chanting “stop the show.” In another post, two fans are riding the platform up a ladder and asking the cameraman to do something.

In a video posted on social media, Scott could be seen at some point canceling the concert and asking someone in the audience for help. “Security, someone can help you really quickly.”

In a tweet posted Saturday, Scott said, “I was completely overwhelmed by what happened last night.” He promised to “work with the Houston community to heal and support families in need.”

Ravis Scott will be performing at NRG Park's Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday, November 5, 2021. (Jamal Ellis / Houston Chronicle via AP)Ravis Scott will be performing at NRG Park’s Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday, November 5, 2021. (Jamal Ellis / Houston Chronicle via AP)

Associated Press freelance photographer Amy Harris has a “aggressive” crowd atmosphere all day long as fans behave, pushing and rushing stage barricades, banning VIPs and admission areas. I explained.

“It was arguably the most chaotic festival environment I’ve ever been to,” Harris said. “I felt uneasy all day long.”

Houston Police Chief Troy Finaler said his department noticed that attendees were “getting off” at 9:30 pm and immediately notified the concert organizers. The event was canceled 40 minutes after discussions involving officials from the fire department and NRG Park.

Finner defended the time it took for the event to be cancelled.

“When you have 50,000 (more than 50,000) individuals, you just can’t close it,” Finaler said. “When you have such a young group, we have to worry about riots, or riots.”

At some point, Herald Abbado Garcia was pushed tight into the crowd and couldn’t lift his arm off his chest. During the performance before Scott, he began to worry about his safety.

“I couldn’t breathe. I was under pressure,” he said. Guards helped him and others climb the fence and leave.

He described the crowd between Scott’s sets as “moving back and forth” waves. He said some people tried to help those who died on the ground, while other concert attendees seemed to ignore them and continue watching the show.

Some spectators said a barricade was built near the stage, separating the various sections of the ticket holders, preventing fans from escaping.

Billy Nasser described the area created by the stage barricades as a closet where people were thrown in and the doors closed. Joshua Robinson said the barricade created an area that was “too small and too compact” for the number of people there.

According to the fire chief, part of the investigation will include seeing how the area around the stage was designed.

Authorities did not reveal the cause of death, and the death was not immediately identified.

Police chief said authorities were investigating reports of suspicious activity in the crowd. Security guards told police that they felt a puncture wound in their neck during the turmoil and lost consciousness during a first responder inspection. He was revived by the opioid antidote Nalcan.

Scott, one of the biggest young stars in music, founded the Astroworld Festival in 2018. The 29-year-old from Houston has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards. He has Kylie Jenner and a 3-year-old daughter. Kylie Jenner announced in September that she was pregnant with her second child.

Drake joined Scott on the stage of a concert livestreamed by Apple Music.

Houston leaders seek clues to a concert surge that killed eight people | Chicago News

Source link Houston leaders seek clues to a concert surge that killed eight people | Chicago News

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