Victims named as police probe US festival crush

Family and friends have been paying tribute to those who died following a crowd surge at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas.

At least eight people were killed and hundreds hurt at the music event, which is now under investigation by police.

Scott has said he is working to help victims’ families, but several concert-goers are suing him and the promoters for damages.

Most of the victims were young people, with the youngest said to be just 14.

The family of one victim, 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez, spoke of their “profound sadness” and said the passionate dancer was “dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates”.

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Earlier, Houston police said their investigation into the crush would include looking into reports that somebody in the audience had been injecting people with drugs.

The surge began around 21:15 on Friday (02:15 GMT Saturday) when panic broke out as the crowd pressed towards the front of the stage during the rapper’s headline set.

As the crush began causing injuries to people, panic grew and the casualties quickly overwhelmed the on-site first aiders, officials said. Some 300 people were treated for injuries such as cuts and bruises.

Several people allegedly injured during the crowd surge have filed lawsuits against Travis Scott and festival promoter Live Nation.

One lawsuit also accuses rap artist Drake, who appeared as a surprise performer, of inciting crowds “even though he knew of “[Travis Scott’s] prior conduct”.

In 2018, Travis Scott pleaded guilty to a public disorder charge after he was accused of encouraging people to rush the stage at a concert in the US state of Arkansas. According to a local newspaper, he also paid nearly $7,000 (£5,186) to two people who said they were injured at the event.

Neither he nor Drake have commented on the new lawsuits against them.

 

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