Travis Scott has put out a statement after at least eight people died and many more were injured in a crowd surge during his performance at the Astroworld music festival in Houston.
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” the rapper, who launched the annual Astroworld Festival in 2018, posted on social media. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”
Scott thanked first responders and added that he is “committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”
The incident began at the music festival around 9 p.m. Friday.
“The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said at a news conference. “People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.”
More than 300 people were treated at a field hospital near the festival, and 23 had to be taken other hospitals in the area, including the eight people who died, CNN reported.
Witnesses told CNN that they began to feel crushed by the packed crowd before Scott’s performance began.
“The crowd was squishing me so much that I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” Emily Munguia, 22, told the outlet. “I started screaming for help … I felt so scared, like I was going to die.”
Jarring video posted on social media shows people in the audience scaling the stage and screaming that people need help as the performance continues. Scott paused the show several times to ask security to help fans, though he has taken heat on social media for not intervening more.
Houston Chronicle music critic Joey Guerra, who attended the festival, told the BBC that Scott did stop the performance “several times” to direct security to help fans. Guerra said he didn’t think Scott “was aware of the extent of what was going on.”
Scott’s shows have a history of chaos and injuries, The New York Times reported. He’s currently being sued by a concertgoer who was paralyzed after being pushed from a balcony and dragged onstage in 2017, and Scott pleaded to a recklessness charge after encouraging Lollapalooza attendees to climb over barricades.