Travis Scott concert: Houston police asked Astroworld festival staff to stop show, police chief says

“HPD staff have asked the staff in charge of the event to stop the show,” Finner said via Twitter after a press conference in which he noted that police had alerted organizers to the measures to rescue.

Finner did not say when the show ended after police requested it.

Nearly a week after the tragedy, many questions remain unanswered, including whether the event organizers, the artist or local authorities should have stopped Friday night’s show earlier.

Finner said that “the ultimate authority to end a show (was) with the production and the artist, and this should be done through communication with public safety officials.”

“We are not holding the grip,” he said.

Crowd crush investigation “will take weeks, if not months,” Finner told reporters at a press conference in which he criticized what he called rumors and speculation on what happened.

Eight bystanders were killed in the crash and two injured people are still hospitalized in critical condition, fire chief Samuel Peña told CNN.

Texas A&M student Bharti Shahani, 22, is in a hospital fighting for her life, a family lawyer said in a statement. Shahani is in critical condition and on a ventilator at Houston Methodist Hospital, lawyer James Lassiter said.

Finner has played down his relationship with headliner and festival organizer Travis Scott, saying the two have only met twice, including once before the concert.

“Let me clarify something,” Finner said. “I meet a lot of people. I was born and raised here in Houston, so if anyone refers to a special relationship … if you call meeting them twice a special relationship … it is not a close relationship for me. “

Finner was asked about his meeting with Scott before the show and said he “had no reason to believe it wouldn’t be safe.”

The chef was also asked about getting a permit for future Scottish festivals, given Friday’s fatal crash and issues with previous Astrworld festivals. Finner said he was not part of this process.

“I hope that the people making this decision (…) consider all of this. We have eight dead and two in the hospital, which is very critical,” he said.

The chief said there was no evidence that a festival security guard was injected with drugs containing drugs, as previously reported.

“Everyone’s life was at stake”

Survivors described the horror of a “whirlwind” of people walking towards the stage during Scott’s performance on Friday night.

“Everyone’s lives were on the line” as the pressure mounted on the show, Bryan Espinoza, 16, said at a press conference. press conference Tuesday with others who had been in the crowd of 50,000 and who were caught in the wave. Espinoza got stuck against a metal barrier, he said
2 high school students, an engineering student and a man who was trying to save his fiancée are among the victims of the Astroworld festival

“At one point my ribs were digging into the railing, basically impaled, and I was worried for my life that I wouldn’t get there,” Espinoza said. A security guard helped him through the gate, and there were already “hundreds of bodies on the ground of people unconscious, falling over the railing,” he said.

18-year-old Eligio Garcia and his girlfriend were caught in a “whirlwind” of people at the start of Scott’s filming, he recalls.

“Just kids and people falling and people trying to reach out to you, like they’re reaching out to you,” he said. “I really heard people screaming, ‘Help, please help me.'”

Garcia and his girlfriend were run over and others fell on them, he said. Eventually, they managed to straighten up in the fray, he said, and calls for help throughout the crowd to staff or show officials at the end of each song went unanswered until another does not begin.

“It’s quite a nightmare that continues to play out every night in my head,” he said.

Travis Scott concerts have a history of heckling and injury

Ayden Cruz and her late friend Brianna Rodriguez were also in the fray. They were around a “circle of people who had fallen behind us” and were about to stumble, Cruz told CNN.

“The ripple effects of the crowds going back and forth, we were pushed onto our backs, and as it happened, people started to fall on us and it was harder for us to get over it. looks and so much weight on both of us, “he said, adding that another friend” also fell on their backs and people on us. It was really scary. ”

At least 18 lawsuits had been filed in Harris County District Court in Texas over the Astroworld tragedy. A Houston lawyer has “filed 68 lawsuits for injured victims, and we intend to file probably as many as 100, if not more by the end of the day or the next day,” he said. told CNN on Wednesday.
The list of the accused – including Live Nation, the promoter and organizer of the show; Travis Scott; musician Drake; and NRG Park, where the festival was held, is expanding to include a security company and potentially others, lawyer Thomas Henry said.

Communication gaps impacted the immediate response

As officials strive to fully understand what happened in the crowd during Scott’s filming, they “have been watching everything from the very beginning,” Mayor Sylvester Turner told CNN on Tuesday.

“We are looking at the roles that everyone played, the missteps, the failures, the gaps that may have existed,” Turner said, adding that they weren’t ruling out anything.

Officials review complaints from firefighters. There were communication failures as the murderous mob unfolded, the mayor said.

Firefighters stationed outside the Astroworld site were not in radio communication with emergency medical providers hired by concert organizers, Peña told CNN.

Houston firefighters union complains about communications with private doctors at Astroworld concert

Houston firefighters waiting near the venue had asked concert organizers for a radio to contact the emergency medical services company, but were only given cell phone numbers, according to the president of the Firefighters Union. the city.

Concert attendees were unable to text or call due to poor cell service, some said.

After learning of the crash, firefighters sent their resources into the crowd, claiming that 12 “very critical” victims were eventually transported, in many cases with CPR underway.

At 10:15 p.m., firefighters improved their response to a mass loss level two, meaning between 20 and 50 people could need to be transported to hospitals, according to documents obtained by CNN and Peña.

Live Nation, the show’s promoter and host, has turned over video footage of the event to Houston Police, who are hoping to get more as the criminal investigation progresses, Turner said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is considering an outside law firm or other third party for the independent investigation into the tragedy, according to her spokesperson.

Finner on Wednesday defended his department’s ability to investigate the tragedy, saying an independent investigation was “not warranted at this time.”

A woman walks past a memorial outside NRG Park in Houston on Tuesday.

Mourn the dead and recall the horror

Mourners paid tribute during a vigil in NRG Park to the spectators killed. Among them was a neighbor and former classmate from Madison Dubiski, 23.

“She was a really lovely girl, and it’s really sad what happened to her,” Caitlin Barrera told CNN. “It’s the last thing you thought would happen.”

Astroworld now joins other deadly concert crowd tragedies

Rusty Barber, who didn’t know the victims but wanted to pay tribute to him, shared his frustration with how Friday’s concert turned into a tragedy and Scott’s set continued during the outbreak.

“He could have been stopped. They could have taken a 10 minute break, a 15 minute break, then they could have located him. And then the show could have continued and all these people would not have lost their lives,” Barber told CNN.

Scott maintains he had no idea the extent of what was going on in the crowd on Friday’s show. Footage from the live broadcast of the concert showed Scott stopping his performance and watching with apparent confusion as an ambulance rushing through the crowd before ending the concert.

The performers should have stopped the show that night, said Henry, the lawyer who said he filed dozens of lawsuits.

“At 9:38 am, there was a report of an incident causing multiple casualties to all of the producers on the show,” he told CNN. “By 10:15 am the show was over. But during that time Drake took to the stage as people were injured and killed. These performers – Drake and Travis Scott, as well as all of the event organizers – knew the dangers associated with the crowd, what was going on with the crowd, and yet they continued to play.

“And from the scene you could absolutely see Travis Scott noticing people being injured, people being blown away unconscious,” Henry said. “And so these performers, instead of stopping the show and keeping these people safe in the crowd and taking the necessary steps to stop the event – help stop this crowd problem – they just went on and the crowd was excited, the crowd got worse and more people got injured because they kept playing. “

Finner said festival organizers failed to provide adequate records of the number of private security personnel present at the site.

CNN’s Rosa Flores, Tina Burnside, Victor Blackwell, Gustavo Valdés, Amir Vera, Kay Jones, Jennifer Henderson, Claudia Dominguez, Raja Razek, Jorge Venegas, Corey James and Alysha Martin contributed to this report.

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