Authorities in Houston have confirmed that a criminal investigation is underway into the m ass-casualty event at rapper Travis Scott’s Atroworld Festival.
A security guard and possibly others were jabbed with syringes, Fox News reports.
528 police officers were on the scene and another 755 security officers were provided by event promoter Live Nation.
At least eight people were killed and numerous others injured while the rapper was onstage.
25 other people were hospitalized, including several attendees under age 18.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed the victims were of the ages 14, 16, 21, 21, 23, 23 and 27. One victim’s age is still unknown.
The causes of the deaths were not immediately known, Fox News notes.
Houston police Chief Troy Finner says there were “a lot of narratives” floating around about what happened.
Finner confirmed that a security guard felt a prick in his neck and medical staff concurred that a marking on his skin aligned with such an event.
Finner explained, “There were some individuals that were trampled and we want to be respectful to that, we just ask that y’all give us time to do a proper investigation.”
“This is now a criminal investigation that’s going to involve our homicide division as well as narcotics,” he stated. “And we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
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Twenty-five arrests were made Friday, authorities said. Twenty-three were for trespassing, one was for public intoxication and one was for possession of marijuana.
Narcan was administered to several individuals – including the security guard who felt a prick in his neck – though the exact number of those treated was unclear.
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Houston fire Chief Samuel Peña then spoke, explaining that his team would be “looking into the permits that were issued and ensuring that the plan that was submitted was adhered to during the event.”
Peña praised his team’s “robust” and “incredible response” to the incident and explained that “there is no occupancy permit for an outdoor event,” meaning that the number of attendees was not mandated by laws or regulations.
He said that more than 200,000 people could have gathered in the area, but that the outdoor venue limited attendance to 50,000 at the time of the festival.