Nine-Year-Old Succumbs To Injuries Sustained At Astroworld Festival; Death Toll Rises To 10 – Update

By Bruce Haring, Tom Tapp, Brandon Choe

Festival goers are seen on day one of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston, Texas. Amy Harris/Invision/AP

UPDATED Nov. 14: A nine year-old boy died on Sunday after sustaining injuries from Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert in Houston, according to Houston Mayor Sylvestor Turner.

Ezra Blount was in a medically induced coma shortly after receiving injury to his heart, lungs and brain after being trampled at the Houston concert that has taken nine other lives.

“Our city tonight prays for his mom, dad, grandparents, other family members and classmates at this time. They will need all of our support in the months and years to come,” Turner wrote. “May God give them strength. RIP Ezra.”

With Ezra’s passing the death toll now stands at 10 total deaths.

PREVIOUSLY on Nov. 11: A 22-year-old Texas A&M student was the 9th person to die after a crowd surge killed 8 last Friday night at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. The student was identified by family as Bharti Shahani, according to multiple reports. She had been in the ICU at Houston Methodist Hospital since being injured.

Family attorney James Lassiter announced today that Shahani “lost her battle from the horrific, horrific injuries that she sustained.” That, via the Washington Post.

“This was a monumental travesty from start to finish,” Lassiter said. “From the performer down to the ticket sales, everyone gets an ‘F.’ It failed at every level.”

PREVIOUSLY on Nov. 6: A crowd crush during Friday’s opening night of rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Texas has resulted in at least eight people dead and hundreds injured.

The disaster happened as a massive number of concertgoers at Houston’s NRG Park rushed the stage, compressing those in front of it around 9:15 p.m.

UPDATE: Travis Scott issued a statement Saturday on social media.

“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” he wrote on social media. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.” He indicated he is cooperating with investigators.

The Astroworld incident was reminiscent of the December 1979 concert disaster in Cincinnati, where 11 people died in a crush to see the Who at Riverfront Coliseum.

It was also not the first time Astroworld had crowd control problems. In November 2019, a stampede outside the festival left three people injured. Minutes before the gates were scheduled to open, fans began climbing over metal barricades and surged toward the entrance, according to local news reports.

Three people suffered minor leg injuries and were transported to area hospitals after being trampled, ABC affiliate KTRK-TV reported.

In Friday’s Houston incident, “People started to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic,” said Fire Chief Samuel Peña at a press conference. He said a “mass casualty incident” was triggered at around 9:38 PM as the number of victims grew and emergency responders became overwhelmed.

Right now, authorities believe at least 23 people were rushed to a hospital, including a 10-year-old. An estimated 11 people were in cardiac arrest. An estimated 300 people were treated at a field hospital on the scene.

Social media was full of scenes of the chaos, which began at the entry gates and extended into the concert location.

Authorities said a medical examiner would determine the cause of death of the eight victims, who have not been identified pending notification of their relatives. People whose loved ones were missing were asked to go to the local Wyndham Hotel.

“Nobody could dream of this… I think it’s important that no one speculates. We have none of the answers tonight,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. He added that authorities have “heard rumors of people injecting people with drugs” at the show.

Show producer Live Nation said it would allow investigators to review footage from the show. Travis Scott is cooperating with law-enforcement, Finner said.

As the mayhem unfolded, “the show was stopped when the crowd was surging,” the chief added.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of fans were seen knocking down barricades at entrance gates and avoiding metal detectors and security guards.

Astroworld began in 2018, but was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 100,000 tickets were sold for this year’s multiple-day event.

Saturday’s concert was canceled.

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