Astroworld: 21-year-old victim had ‘life squeezed out of’ him and was ‘trampled on like a piece of trash,’ says family lawyer

Family of Axel Acosta among many poised to file lawsuit over Texas concert

Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday 09 November 2021 15:26
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Astroworld victim had 'life squeezed out of him and trampled like trash', says lawyer
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A 21-year-old student who died at the Travis Scottconcert in Texas, had the “life squeezed out of” him and was then “trampled on like a piece of trash”, the family lawyer’s has alleged.

Axel Acosta, of Washington state, had travelled to Houston by himself to attend the concert, having saved up pay for a flight from Seattle and the price of a ticket.

Yet, the trip turned to tragedy, when a crush among the crowd left eight people dead and hundreds injured.

On Monday, as a number of lawsuits were filed against the rapper and the promoters of the concert at the Astroworld festival, a lawyer for the Acosta family alleged the young man had the “life squeezed out of him”, and that his body had then been trampled on “like a piece of trash”.

Tony Buzbee, appearing with the family of the young man, a computer science student at  Western Washington University in Bellingham, said people who perished as a result of a “crowd rush”, did not typically die from being trampled.

Rather, they died from what was known “compressive asphyxiation”, and was caused by many bodies being piled on top of them.

“This is exactly what happened to Axel. The immense force of the unruly and out-of-control crowd, created by the defendants’ gross negligence, created such significant pressure on to his body that he could not breathe,” he said.

“The air was literally, slowly squeezed out of him, sending his heart into cardiac arrest.”

Scott, 30, who is from Houston, is being sued by various individuals as a result of the deaths and injuries. He has not yet responded to the lawsuits but has offered to pay for the costs of the funerals of those who died.

He and the promoters have been accused of failing to take steps to keep people safe, and of not taking action promptly enough once the incident happened.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Piña said Mr Scott had a responsibility for the safety of the crowd at the event and that had he ended the performance sooner things may have been less frantic.

“If the lights would have been turned on – [if] the promoter or artist called for that – it would have chilled the crowd, and who knows,” he told CNN.

“‘Who knows what the outcome would have been? But everybody in that venue, starting from the artist on down, has a responsibility for public safety.”

Mr Buzbee, who said he would be filing a lawsuit on behalf of the family in the coming days, said that after he was fatally injured, other concert goers - trying to save their own lives - would have trampled him “like a piece of trash”.

“Two emergency responders tried to save Axel, but they failed, and so Axel died on the edge of a muddy ground of a concert he attended for fun,” he said.

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