HOUSTON, TX –– Hours after "total chaos" broke out at this year's AstroworldFest, authorities confirm at least eight people have lost their lives.
Social media posts show that the excitement was high even before the show began as attendees stampeded through the gates, destroyed VIP entrances, and bypassed security.
With nearly 50,000 fans in attendance, the crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage around 9:15 p.m.
This caused people to panic and people were injured –– including 17 who were transported to the hospital. Of those transported, at least 11 were in cardiac arrest. According to the Houston Police Department, some of the victims were as young as 10.
At approximately 9:35 p.m., HPD declared it as a mass casualty incident as the number of victims grew. More than fifty-five Houston Fire Department units responded to the scene to treat those injured.
A field hospital was set up nearby to treat victims who did not require hospitalization.
The performance scheduled to take place on Saturday has been canceled.
Astroworld Fest issued the following statement on social media:
"Our hearts are with the Astroword Festival Family tonight –– especially those we lost and their loved ones. We are focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind, the festival will no longer be held on Saturday."
"As authorities mentioned in their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have any relevant information on this please reach out to @HoustonPolice."
"Thank you to our partners at the Houston Police Department, Fire Department, and NRG Park for their response and support."
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