Houston Astroworld deaths: Attendees describe crowd crush horror: 'Floor of bodies'

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Witnesses described on social media the horror of what unfolded at the Astroworld music festival in Houston Friday night, with some claiming they barely escaped with their lives.

At least eight people died and hundreds were injured during a crowd crush when Travis Scott took the stage around 9:30 p.m. Around 50,000 people attended the festival, according to authorities. 

One 10-year-old child was critically injured, and 24 people went to hospitals – at least half of whom underwent CPR during transport. 

The crowd watches as Travis Scott performs at Astroworld Festival at NRG park on Friday, Nov.  5, 2021 in Houston. Several people died and numerous others were injured in what officials described as a surge of the crowd at the music festival while Scott was performing. Officials declared a "mass casualty incident" just after 9 p.m. Friday during the festival where an estimated 50,000 people were in attendance, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters at a news conference. (Jamaal Ellis/Houston Chronicle via AP)
(Jamaal Ellis/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Houston fire Chief Sam Pena told reporters it was “a tragic night.” 

“I almost died, and I’m not exaggerating,” wrote Twitter user with the handle RafaRochaJ. “When I managed to get out I yelled at the police, the lifeguards, and those who were in the VIP what was happening they literally all ignored me, I’m still in shock.” 

A similar incident occurred when Scott performed at the same event in 2019, with a less tragic panic, drawing criticism from some. 

“I was working security at #ASTROWORLDFest, and I was pulling ppl being squished out of the pits,” a Twitter user with the handle NumeroUdo posted. “People died today.” 

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    The site of the Astroworld Festival in Houston is seen from the air Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. At least people died Friday after the crowd at a Travis Scott concert compressed and panic ensued, officials said. (Image: KRIV) (KRIV)

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    The site of the Astroworld Festival in Houston is seen from the air Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. At least people died Friday after the crowd at a Travis Scott concert compressed and panic ensued, officials said. (Image: KRIV) (KRIV)

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    Ambulance lights are seen in the crowd during the Astroworld music festival in Houston, November 5, 2021 in this still image obtained from a social media video on November 6, 2021. Courtesy of Twitter @ONACASELLA /via REUTERS (Courtesy of Twitter @ONACASELLA /via REUTERS)

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    An ambulance is seen in the crowd during the Astroworld music festival in Houston, November 5, 2021 in this still image obtained from a social media video on November 6, 2021. Courtesy of Twitter @ONACASELLA /via REUTERS (Courtesy of Twitter @ONACASELLA /via REUTERS)

“The issue isn’t with the event planners though, it’s the fact that GIGANTIC crowds of people were pushing past barricades. There wasn’t supposed to be that many people,” the user wrote. 

Some witnesses, though, praised the efforts of the security officers under the difficult circumstances. 

“Someone pulled me and my girlfriend over the barricade and that’s probably why we’re alive,” another user wrote.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, a concertgoer wrote about her experience from the front of the crowd near the stage, saying that “all the lost souls” were “robbed.”

Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston. (Photo by )
(Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

“Within the first 30 seconds of the first song, people started to drown – in other people,” user seannafaith wrote. “There were so many people.” 

“The rush of people became tighter and tighter,” she explained. “Breathing became something only a few were capable of. The rest were crushed or unable to breathe in the thick, hot air.” 

“There was nowhere to go.” 

“One person fell, or collapsed, it doesn’t matter how it started,” @seannafaith continued. “Once one fell, a hole opened in the ground. it was like watching a Jenga Tower topple. Person after person were sucked down. You could not guess from which direction the shove of hundreds of people would come next. You were at the mercy of the wave.”

“There was a floor of bodies, of men and women, below two layers of fallen people above them,” she wrote.

Live Nation, the organizer behind the event, released a statement Saturday morning in which it pledged to support local officials. The rest of the festival’s events were cancelled immediately. 

“As authorities mentioned in their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have any relevant information on this, please reach out to the Houston Police.” The statement went on to thank the first responders on the scene.

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