New details continue to emerge regarding the "mass casualty" incident that took place at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas on Friday. A recent report from The New York Times has revealed that Houston Police Chief Troy Finner met with Travis Scott to express concerns he had regarding the concert crowd during his performance. Both concert organizers and local authorities expected the crowd to be lively, so they reportedly hired extra security guards and police officers to work the event. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough to control the crowd.
Authorities have confirmed that eight concertgoers died and more than a dozen people were rushed to the hospital. Moreover, nearly 300 people were treated at nearby facilities throughout the day. Despite these incidents, Travis Scott continued to perform for approximately 30 minutes after the "mass casualty" incident had occurred. Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told reporters on Sunday that he feels Travis Scott and festival organizers should have shut down the festival earlier than they did.
“The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer. They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility,” Peña told The New York Times.
“If somebody would have said, ‘Hey, shut this thing down and turn on the lights until this thing gets corrected’ — and that coming from the person with the mic — I think could have been very helpful.”
Travis Scott nor festival organizers have directly addressed the specifics of the tragedy, but the best-selling artist did issue a short statement via social media on Saturday.
"I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night," Travis Scott wrote in a statement.
"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. Love You All."
At this time, the city medical examiner has not determined a cause of death for any of the eight victims. No charges have been filed against those involved, police are expected to to investigate the matter moving forward.
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