Travis Scott death at concert due to accidental suffocation, medical examiner says
HOUSTON: The 10 people who died in a stampede at rapper Travis Scott’s concert at the Astroworld Festival in Houston last month accidentally suffocated, the Harris County medical examiner ruled Thursday.
The victims, aged 9 to 27, died of compression asphyxiation, the examiner’s report concluded, essentially crushed to death in the crowd surrounding the scene. Another 300 people were injured among the public of 50,000 people.
The victims were trapped and surrounded by barricades on three sides, unable to escape as thousands of fans rushed to the stage as Scott performed. Eyewitnesses said spectators fell to the ground and some were trampled on https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-texas-security-eyewitnesses-idUKKBN2HR0MZ by the crowd.
The medical examiner ruled out homicide, or death caused by another person, in all 10 cases.
“It reopens a new plague for many families who are still trying to figure out what happened,” said Lina Hidalgo, a senior manager for Harris County.
A lawyer for the family of victim Bharti Shahani said the determination of suffocation “confirms the worst fears of Bharti’s family.”
A spokesperson for Scott declined to comment immediately. His lawyer and representatives from Live Nation did not respond to requests for comment.
A Houston Police spokesperson declined to comment immediately.
The forensic pathologist’s discovery could shape the direction of a police criminal investigation into the tragedy, which rocked Houston and raised questions about crowd control and safety at entertainment mega-events.
No charges have been filed by police, but at least 200 lawsuits, including several by family members of the deceased, have been filed against Scott, 29, the promoter of the Live Nation Entertainment festival, the NRG concert hall. Park and others involved in the event. .
The family of Mirza Danish Baig, 27, sued the organizers for negligence and wrongful death, alleging that they had failed to stop the show “when it was evident that they had lost full control of the situation, ”according to their lawyer. At least two other families have also filed negligence lawsuits.
What Scott and the organizers knew about the tragedy that unfolded before the concert ended is part of the police investigation. The concert continued for more than 30 minutes after it was declared a mass casualty event and after police asked the promoter to arrest it, Houston chief Troy Finner said.
Scott was not aware of the full extent of what happened until the next morning, his lawyer said, and the rapper offered to help with the funeral costs of the families. The festival director and executive producers, not Scott, were responsible for deciding when to end the concert, his lawyer said.
(Reporting by Gary McWilliams, additional reporting by Marcy de Luna and Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)