Victims identified in weekend Houston concert tragedy

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Posted at 1:36 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 14:36:39-05

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities on Monday released the names of the eight people who died at a Houston music festival, as investigators watched video, interviewed witnesses and reviewed procedures to try to determine what went wrong when the crowd rushed the stage during a performance by the rapper Travis Scott.

Hundreds more were injured when the tragedy unfolded at the sold-out Astroworld festival Friday night. Some 50,000 people attended the event.

Medical examiners have still not released the causes of death, which could take several weeks, said Michele Arnold, a spokeswoman with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

“It’s not the crowd’s fault at all, because there was no way you could even move, it was just like a mass loss of control,” said Ben Castro, 19. He returned to the venue Monday to leave flowers at a makeshift memorial that included notes, T-shirts and and candles. He said he didn’t know anyone had died until the next day.

The dead were between the ages of 14 and 27 and were from Texas, Illinois and Washington, according to Harris County authorities. They included high schoolers, an aspiring Border Patrol agent and a computer science student.

Investigators planned to examine the design of safety barriers and the use of crowd control at the event that Scott founded. Over 300 people were treated at a field hospital on site and at least 13 people remained hospitalized on Sunday.

Houston police and fire department investigators said they would review video taken by concert promoter Live Nation, as well as dozens of clips from people at the show. Investigators also planned to speak with Live Nation representatives, Scott and concertgoers.

More than a dozen lawsuits had been filed as of Monday, and Live Nation announced it was delaying ticket sales for a Billy Joel concert at a different venue in Houston. The promoter said Monday it was assisting authorities so “the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve.”