An unexpected crowd surge at the Travis Scott concert in Houston took the lives of eight people, including a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, prompting the famous rapper to issue a statement saying that he's "absolutely devastated" by the accident.
In a post on Twitter, Scott said that he is praying for the families of the victims and has thrown his support for the Houston Police Department as it investigates what triggered the crowd surge at Astroworld. The rapper also said that he's reaching out to the Houston community and the families for whatever support they need.
Organizers of the Travis Scott concert also issued a statement to sympathize with the loved ones of those who died and have canceled succeeding schedules of Astroworld. They are asking anyone with relevant information to contact the Houston Police Department as it could help with the investigations.
What is a Crowd Surge?
A crowd surge happens when there is a strong force pulling people forward or backward among a number of other individuals squeezed together. According to Penn Live, this strong force could be enough to bend steel.
People crushed within a crowd surge may experience a feeling akin to being directly under a pileup although they are standing upright. As a result, their lungs get crushed and they can't breathe enough oxygen, resulting in death.
Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told CNN that the crowd at Astroworld started pushing towards the stage, crushing those in the front. Witnesses said they felt like they were drowning in a pool of people. There were speculations that a drug-spiking incident started the chaos as people started to panic and ran for their safety. The police said that this matter is still being confirmed.
In the U.K., a similar incident involving 50,000 soccer match fans resulted in several victims of asphyxiation. There were fans who were pressed so hard on the perimeter fencing that they incurred marks and facial distortions.
A crowd surge can be prevented if there are capacity guidelines at the venue, which should have been observed at the popular concert. However, witnesses said that the crowd at the Astroworld got "worse and worse" within two hours. According to CNN, the organizers ramped up security for this 2021 event following a trampling accident in 2019.
Kids Who Died at the Travis Scott Concert
John Hilgert, 14, was the youngest victim of the Travis Concert, who went to the Memorial High School in Spring Branch. The school community issued a statement following news of his death and his coach in baseball, Justin Higgs, also posted a heartfelt message on Facebook. Higgs said that Hilgert "impacted everyone that met him" and has been an "angel a long time ago."
Family members of Brianna Rodriquez, 16, said that she was a vibrant junior high school student who loved dancing and enjoyed being part of the school band. To help her family in this trying times, friends have set up a GoFundMe Page for her funeral.
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