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‘Our hearts are broken’: Eight dead and dozens injured by crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival

The rapper reportedly stopped his set on several occasions and asked security to try and help those in the crowd

Eight people have been killed and dozens more injured at a music festival in Texas, after a massive crowd surge.

The incident took place on the first night of the Astroworld Festival, organised by rapper Travis Scott.

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What happened at the Astroworld festival?

According to reports from the local Fire Chief, the incident began at around 9:15pm local time on Friday (5 November).

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said: “"The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and people began to panic.”

Speaking at a press conference, he said that once people started to be injured by the crushing, the panic got worse, leading to worse injuries.

The Fire Chief also said that even though organisers put a stop to the event when the severity of the issue started to become clear, the number of people with injuries meant the on-site medical facilities could not cope.

There have been reports from local media that Travis Scott, who was performing at the time, halted his performance on several occasions over a 75-minute set, as he could see people in distress near the front of the crowd.

Scott reportedly requested that the on-site security team assist people in the crowd during his performance, while footage shared on social media seems to show fans atop an emergency vehicle in the crowd.

The headline first night performance was halted several times and eventually abandoned.

Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said: "Nobody could dream of this. But we’re here, and I think it’s very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight."

Lind Hidalgo, the local County Judge said it was an “extremely tragic night”.

She said: "Our hearts are broken.

“People go to these events looking for a good time, a chance to unwind, to make memories - it’s not the kind of event you go to where you expect to find out about fatalities."

She added that many of those who’d been killed were “tragically young”

Earlier the same day, hundreds of fans stormed the site of the festival by knocking over parts of the perimeter and surging inside, knocking over a security screening center.

What is Astroworld festival?

Astroworld festival is a two-day music festival founded by rapper Travis Scott, held at NRG Park in Houston, Texas.

A number of other acts were due to appear over the course of the festival including Tame Impala, Chief Keef and Earth, Wind and Fire.

The event has become extremely popular since its launch in 2018, and was particularly keenly anticipated this year as it was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid.

Though popular with some fans in the UK, Scott is a household name in the US, having made his breakthrough in 2019.

He starred in a Netflix documentary about his rise to fame released in 2019, titled Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly.

The film focussed on Scott’s energetic live performances and the connection with his relatively young audience.

He is also well-known as the father of reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s child.