LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) —A criminal investigation is now underway in Houston following the fatal crowd surge on Friday night at the Astroworld music festival.
About 50,000 people were present during the first night of the three-day festival and according to authorities, eight people were killed, all of whom were between the ages of 14 and 27, and nearly 300 people were injured after a large, densely packed crowd began to push toward the stage as rapper Travis Scott began his set. Some attendees went into cardiac arrest and others were crushed as the crowd pushed forward.READ MORE: Firefighters Rescue Infant, Two Adults From Fire At Two-Story Home
“As soon as Travis Scott came on everyone started pushing and people started to fall down to the ground,” said Victor Cruz as he held back tears. “My son said he didn’t think he was going to make it and he just started praying as people were on top of him and his legs were trapped.”
Cruz’s son was almost crushed to death during the crowd surge but luckily escaped.
“Just knowing my son almost didn’t make it home, and then the ones who didn’t,” said Victor Cruz. “I just really feel for them.”
On a video posted to social media, Scott could be seen stopping the concert at one point and asking for aid for someone in the audience pleading with security to help those injured.
“I could never have imagined anything like this ever happening,” Scott said in a video on social media.
Scott has faced criminal charges for inciting the crowds in past for shows at Lollapalooza in 2015 and at a 2017 music festival in Arkansas.
Reality star Kylie Jenner, who is also Scott’s longtime girlfriend and currently pregnant with their second child, released a statement on Sunday.READ MORE: Three Shot, Two Killed In Unincorporated Area Near South Los Angeles
“I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing,” she wrote.
Security expert Jeff Harp says massive crowds at these mega-events are very difficult to manage and read even with the best of emergency planning.
“I mean I haven’t heard the 911 calls but you’ve got a crowd like that in a very closed-in area, it’s a concert so people are doing wild and crazy things all night long at the concert,” said Harp. “They’re yelling. They’re screaming. They’re having a good time. It’s really hard to distinguish sometimes between someone who’s in real distress and someone who’s out there just having a great time.”
Police are still investigating the cause of the deadly crowd surge as well as a report of a possible drugging of a security officer.
“We do have a report of a security officer and he was reaching over to grab a person and he felt a prick in his neck and when he was examined he went unconscious and they gave him Narcan,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
Narcan is used to resuscitate victims of drug overdoses.
The festival promoter Live Nation released a statement expressing their condolences and announced they will help police with the investigation which includes providing video footage.
A concertgoer filed a lawsuit against Scott, Live Nation and organizer ScoreMore on Sunday.MORE NEWS: Person Fatally Injured In Single-Vehicle Crash On Big Tujunga Canyon Road
There is also a petition with over 1,600 signatures to remove Travis Scott as a performer at next year’s Coachella festival.