Speed Reads

astroworld crowd surge

Travis Scott says he's 'devastated' by deaths at festival, supports probe into 'tragic loss of life'

Rapper Travis Scott said he is "absolutely devastated" by the crowd surge that took place Friday night at his Astroworld music festival in Houston, which left at least eight people dead and dozens injured.

"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," he tweeted on Saturday. "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." Scott also thanked Houston's police and fire departments, as well as the staff at festival venue NRG Park, "for their immediate response and support."

About 50,000 people attended the sold-out concert, and witnesses said leading up to Scott's performance, the crowd started pushing toward the stage, eventually surging once he started performing, squeezing audience members at the front and giving them nowhere to go. "The crows was squishing me so much that I felt like I couldn't breathe," concert attendee Emily Munguia told CNN. "I started screaming for help ... I felt so scared, like I was going to die. The amount of people I saw get hurt, passed out, bleeding, crying, is crazy."

During a news conference on Saturday, Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said that the crowd "for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed. People began to fall out, become unconscious." More than 300 concertgoers were treated at the scene, Peña said, and 23 others were hospitalized, with eight dying. Many of them went into cardiac arrest on their way to the hospital, Peña told CNN, and one victim in critical condition is just 10 years old.