Speed Reads

'monumental travesty'

College student dies from 'horrific, horrific injuries' sustained at Astroworld, attorney says

The death toll from the crowd surge at last week's Astroworld music festival has risen to nine. 

Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old college student who attended rapper Travis Scott's music festival in Houston with her cousin and sister, died on Wednesday night, CNN reports. She had been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator after being injured in the deadly crowd surge.

An attorney for Shahani's family, James Lassiter, told reporters she was declared dead "from the horrific, horrific injuries that she sustained" at the festival, The Washington Post reports. "This was a monumental travesty from start to finish," Lassiter said. 

The attorney also described Shahani as a "shining star in the community," and "a sister, a daughter, a high-achieving college student about to graduate from Texas A&M University with high, high grades," according to The Associated Press. Shahani's mother delivered emotional remarks at a news conference, says AP, asking, "What happened to her? I want my baby back." Her cousin, Mohit Bellani, placed blame on the organizers of the concert, according to the Post, alleging, "They suffocated us. They did this to Bharti."

Eight other people were killed, and dozens more were injured, after the crowd at the festival "began to compress towards the front of the stage," which "caused some panic," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña previously said. The crowd surge occurred during a performance by Scott, who is now facing numerous lawsuits. A criminal investigation is ongoing. Scott has said he's "absolutely devastated" and that police have "my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life."