10 people who died in an overwhelming crowd at the Astroworld music festival in Houston have died of asphyxiation due to compression, officials announced Thursday.
Medical examiners from the Harris County Forensic Science Institute in Houston had to wait weeks after rapper Travis Scott’s November 5 concert for additional test results before making a decision. finally on the cause and manner of the deaths.
The 10 people who died were among the 50,000 people who attended the festival and were in the stands when Scott’s performance turned deadly.
The youngest victim was 9-year-old Ezra Blount. The others died between the ages of 14 and 27. Medical examiners said contributing factors to a man’s death were cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol, a form of alcohol.
About 300 people were injured and treated at the festival site and 25 people were taken to hospital.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed regarding injuries and deaths at the concert, where fans flooded the stage during Scott’s performance, squeezing people so tightly together that they couldn’t breathe or move. move their arms.
Scott and the event organizers are at the center of a Houston police crime investigation. No one can be charged. No timetable has been established for when the investigation will be completed.
Scott’s attorney has reached out to the families of the 10 people who died, offering to pay for the funeral expenses of their loved ones. Some families have turned down this offer.
The top elected official in the county that includes Houston, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, has proposed a third-party investigation into the planning and execution of the festival, set up by Scott.
The Harris County Administrator will instead work with other city and county entities to review security, fire, and other safety plans at the county-owned NRG Park where the festival is held.
Other members of Harris County’s governing body, known as the commissioner’s court, are concerned Hidalgo’s investigation could lead to liability for the county.
Crowd safety experts say an investigation by neutral outsiders can help avoid potential conflicts of interest and promote transparency.
A 56-page event operations plan for the Astroworld festival, detailed protocols for hazardous situations, including a shooter, bomb or terrorist threats, and extreme weather. But it does not include information on what to do in the event of a large crowd.
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