The police and fire departments of Houston conducted a press conference on Saturday afternoon with updates regarding the mass casualty event that occurred at the AstroWorld Festival on Friday night that left eight people dead and many injured.
City officials affirmed that this is a very active and open investigation with components of homicide and narcotics being involved. There were accounts on social media claiming that people were being injected with an unknown narcotic during the headlining set. The police chief confirmed that there is one report of someone feeling a prick as well as several instances of people being treated with Narcan. They are looking into those claims but caution the public not to buy into all the stories on social media.
As far as arrests, 25 people have been arrested. 23 of those were from trespassing, one from possession of marijuana and one for public intoxication.
Investigators are currently in ongoing talks with Live Nation and Travis Scott’s team to find out what happened and what went wrong. They assure that safety and contingency plans were put in place, but want to find out if they were either not enough or not followed appropriately.
Actions were taken after a 2019 incident that involved breaching a barricade at AstroWorld. This year had an increase in police, private security, event security, additional space, and stronger barricade and fencing. But they still want to know if more had to be done and how it could have been prevented.
There is no occupancy permit for an outdoor event. They could have had over 200k people at this venue, but it was limited to 50k based on the fire code. They had crowds subdivided with two different stages and standing areas.
The ages of those that passed away are a 14, 16, two are 21, two are 23, 27, and one remains unidentified. Medical professionals are working hard on completing the autopsies quickly to release the bodies to the families of the deceased.
Travis Scott released a statement on social media saying, “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. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”
(Photo: WireImage for AstroWorld Festival)