Videos that have gone viral on social media sites such as Reddit and Twitter show medical services personnel struggling to go through the crowd of dancing concertgoers at Houston’s NRG stadium as they attempted to rescue those who had been injured.
Around 50,000 people were in attendance when part of the crowd began to rush towards the stage during rapper Travis Scott’s performance. At least two investigations, one of them criminal, have been launched into the deadly concert.
Signs of potential crowd-control issues became apparent earlier in the day, when people were reportedly hopping turnstiles and fences to enter the sold-out festival without tickets, which led to a crowd size that organisers were unprepared for and overwhelmed medical units. Around 9.30pm, organisers became aware of medical emergencies and began to shut down the event.
According to reports, the organisers and the media team were underprepared to handle the intensity of the crisis on Friday. A disturbing video making rounds on social media showed first-responders dropping a victim on her head.
Another video on Twitter showed concertgoers jumping on top of emergency services vehicles, impeding the movement of paramedics who are seen trying to move concertgoers out of the way to reach the injured.
The incident has been described as a “mass casualty” by the Houston police.
“The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and people began to panic,” Houston fire chief Samuel Peña told ABC13.
The police added that several people were trampled while several others suffered cardiac arrests.
Officials said that 17 people were taken to hospital, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest, while some 300 people were treated for more minor injuries, including cuts and bruises, at a temporary field hospital in NRG Park.
A 14-year-old high school student has been identified as the youngest victim of the stampede.
The concert, organised by Scott and Live Nation, was reportedly stopped when they realised that multiple people had been injured.
At least two investigations are now underway into the deadly stampede. Organisers Scott and Live Nation have been sued for the tragedy by at least three fans so far.
The concert, which has now been cancelled, was first organised in 2018. This was its third annual edition.
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