At least 8 dead at Travis Scott's AstroWorld festival
The second day of the festival has been cancelled.
At least eight people have died and hundreds more injured after a crowd crush during Travis Scott's set at Astroworld Festival in Texas.
The sold-out crowd of 50,000 is thought to have surged forward to the front of the stage during the rapper's performance, causing panic to break out according to officials.
Seventeen people were taken to hospital, with 11 of these being in cardiac arrest, and eight died. Around 300 people were treated for injuries at the event.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said: "We had a mass casualty event here at Astroworld. We had people falling out and passing out.
"I've heard of other events like this at soccer, but not here, not in these sorts of events."
According to the Houston Chronicle, Scott stopped multiple times during his 75-minute set when he spotted fans in distress near the front of the crowd.
The rapper asked security to make sure they were OK and help them out of the crowd, with emergency vehicles, lights and sirens flashing, cutting through the crowds several times.
His sets are often high-octane, with the rapper referring to them as "ragers." When he brought out Drake during the set, the crowd became even more chaotic.
The paper reports that at the start of the event, fans had stormed the entrance gates, bypassing metal detectors and and security.
At around 21:15 (02:15 GMT on Saturday), the 'mass casualty incident' began.
Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said: "Nobody could dream of this. But we're here, and I think it's very important that none of us speculate. Nobody has all the answers tonight."
Local politician Lina Hidalgo, county judge of Harris County, described what had happened as an "extremely tragic night".
"Our hearts are broken," she said. "People go to these events looking for a good time, a chance to unwind, to make memories - it's not the kind of event you go to where you expect to find out about fatalities."
There was a terrible tragedy tonight with 8 deaths & 300+ injuries at Astroworld at NRG Park. Right now, please spread the word: we’ve established a reunification center at Wyndham Houston at 8686 Kirby for anyone looking for missing #AstroWorld attendees. Investigation ongoing. https://t.co/9eG1dvZrBe
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 6, 2021
Astroworld has been held annually at NRG Park in Texas since 2018, and is a homage to Houston's shuttered Astroworld amusement park.
Some of the other acts scheduled to appear at the festival were rappers Chief Keef and 21 Savage, and Australian band Tame Impala.