People as young as 10 years old were transported to hospital, one official said.
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The Astroworld festival, hosted by rapper Travis Scott, has been cancelled after the deaths of at least eight people in a crowd crush incident.
Officials from Houston's fire and police departments announced the fatalities in a press conference early in the morning of Saturday, November 6, and said that 17 people were transported to hospital as a result of the "mass casualty incident."
If families have not heard from a loved one that attended this evenings Astroworld festival, a reunification center has been established at 8686 Kirby (Wyndam Hotel). A hotline has not been established at the moment @FireChiefofHFD @houstonpolice— Houston Fire Dept (@Houston Fire Dept) 1636182601
An estimated 50,000 people were in attendance at the show, hosted at NRG Park in Scott's hometown of Houston, Texas. The crowd crush took place just after 9 p.m. local time, officials said. People began to "compress" to the front of the stage, causing panic amongst those involved.
"It started causing some injuries. People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic," Houston's Fire Chief Samuel Pena said.
Half an hour later, the mass casualty incident began, Pena said.
"Itseemedlikeithappenedwithjustoverthecourseofjustafewminutes," one police officer told reporters. "Suddenlywehadseveralpeopledownonthegroundexperiencesometypeofcardiacarrestorsometypeofmedicalepisode.Sowe immediately starteddoingCPRandmovingpeople."
"And that's when I went and met with the promoters and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety."
Footage from the evening shows Scott stopping his set and appealing to security to help someone who had passed out in the audience.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the festival confirmed that all shows on Saturday had been cancelled. It also said it was coordinating with officials to look into the "series of cardiac arrests" that occurred.
According to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, officials were also focused on identifying the victims of the incident. Some people as young as 10 years old had been transferred to hospital, Hidalgo confirmed.
"Tonight's focus though, needs to be on the families and on the lives that we lost," Hidalgo said. "Many of them extremely young, tragically young."
If you have not been able to get in touch with someone who attended the festival, you can call Houston's Office of Emergency Management at 832-393-2991 or 832-393-2990. A reunification centre has also been established at the Wyndham Hotel on 8686 Kirby Drive.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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