Houston Officials on Astroworld: 'Tragic on Many Different Levels'

Officials from the city of Houston held a press conference Saturday to discuss the tragic events at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Fest as well as the city’s response to the crowd surge that resulted in the deaths of eight people.

“Last night was tragic on many different levels,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

While the officials didn’t announce the victims of the tragedy, they revealed the ages of those who died: 14 years old, 16, 21, 21, 23, 23, 27 and one of unknown age. Six of the eight victims’ families had been notified at the time of the press conference.

Turner added that 25 people were transported to hospital; 13 are still hospitalizing, including five under the age of 18. “Zero persons are reported missing.” Turner said.

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“There are a lot of unanswered questions, and over the next several days, several weeks — it could be longer — we’ll take an in-depth look,” Turner said. “There are a lot of rumors on social media, let me caution people not to buy into the rumors.”

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that the number of Houston police officers that were at the festival was 528 — higher than the 300-plus figure he said Friday night, when he only factored in the night-shift officers and not those held over from the day shift — as well as 755 private security officers provided by Astroworld organizers Live Nation.

“This has not happened to us ever in Houston,” Finner said. As for rumors that someone in the crowd was “injecting” people — which in turn sparked the crowd surge — Finner acknowledged that one security officer was given Narcan and revived after being “pricked” by something that medical staff said was consistent with a needle. At the time of the press conference, police were still trying to identify and locate the security officer.

Finner added that there were 25 arrests in total at the festival, 23 of those were trespassing, one for possession of marijuana and one for public intoxication.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo thanked the Good Samaritans at the Astroworld, noting that “it could have been much worse if people hadn’t stepped in.”

“It just breaks your heart, and I know the images we’ve seen are hard to stomach, and I’m sure more will surface that will be hard to stomach,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo said she would call for an “objective, independent investigation” to determine “if it could have been prevented, or if it was out of everybody’s hands.”

Scott previously said in a statement Saturday morning, “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continues 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. Thank you Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. Love you all.”

Live Nation said in a statement Saturday to Rolling Stone, “Heartbroken for those lost and impacted at Astroworld last night. We will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation.”

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