Will the Travis Scott concert crowd surge warrant better security refinement during mass gatherings?
by Jaskiran Kaur | Sat, 18 Dec 2021 10:33:50 GMT
Travis Scott faces several lawsuits amidst accidental crowd surge at the concert; Credits: BBC

One of the most tragic events to happen this year had to be the grievous accident that happened during Travis Scott's Astroworld concert. Now, after a month and a half of speculations as to what might have spurred the incident, the cause of the deaths in the accident has finally been revealed. 

After a month and half of the tragic accident that took place last month on November 5, 2021, where people had suddenly led to a crowd surge during Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival performance and had led to the death of 10 people, authorities have finally come with an explanation. The authorities now know what might have gone wrong during the otherwise well-guarded concert. 

The official authorities of Texas, where the concert had taken place, have revealed the cause of death of the 10 victims who lost their lives to the crowd surge. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has revealed to E! News that all 10 of the victims of the accident have died due to compression asphyxia. While it was enough to cut short their oxygen supply, substance abuse, as in the case of Mirza Danish Baig, aged 27, was also listed under the words "combined toxic effects of cocaine, methamphetamine, and ethanol."

The remaining victims of the Astroworld tragedy that day were Rodolfo Angel Pena, aged 23; Madison Alexis Dubiski, aged 23; Franco Cesar Patino, aged 21; Jacob E. Jurine, aged 20; John W. Hilgert, aged 14; Axel Beltsasar Acosta Avila, aged 21, Brianna Rodriguez, aged 16, Bharti Shahani, aged 22, and Ezra Blount, aged 9.

While the cause was definitely a deciding point for the investigation of the tragedy, officials have long since indicated that the deaths were an accident. The authorities have previously called the accident a "mass casualty incident." Apparently, the investigating officials also had stated that during the Travis Scott concert, the audience had "began to compress towards the front of the stage," hence, resulting in many people being strangled in suffocation, also leading to the death of minors. 

The authorities sat down for a news conference, where they stated, "People began to fall out, become unconscious," "and it created additional panic." Several people sustained serious injuries after the accident had taken place.

The singer himself was pretty shocked when he first heard the news and had issued a statement the next day of the concert. It read: "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. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life."

The singer also said that he is fully cooperating with the authorities and is trying to provide justice to the victims. He said, "I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support. Love You All."

Along with Travis Scott, Charlamagne Tha Gold, an American radio personality, is also facing many lawsuits accusing him of his ignorance of the events of the concert. The rapper, aged 30, shared that he was not aware of the incident and what might have spurred the whole accident. He shared, "It wasn't really until minutes until the press conference until I found out exactly what happened. Even after the show, you know, you're just kind of hearing things."

But will this mean that the concert creators will aim at better vigilance and security in future events so that any of these accidents do not happen again? Presently, Travis Scott has taken it upon himself to stand together with the United States Conference of Mayors, as he works to eliminate the dangers of concert crowds and eradicate the chances of such happenings in concerts again. Still, the family members of the victims are still livid about the lack of security that night, especially since the concert was equipped with as much authority as needed to handle a crowd of 50,000 people. 

Reinforcing that the concert-goers suffered from violent deaths, the legal representative of the family of Axel, a victim who died at the concert, Tony Buzbee, shared with E! News that the cause of death was already clear to the family of the victim. In his December 16 statement of Thursday, he said that the report only "confirms what the family already knew, which is that Axel was crushed and killed that night by the crowd, through no fault of his own."

The statement of the attorney said, "Axel Acosta's family looks forward now to present their case in court, in front of a jury, in the hopes that all those accountable are held legally responsible, and that a preventable tragedy like this never happens again.

Renewed concert safety can help prevent tragedies like the Astroworld accident; Credits: Today Show

The police are still continuing their investigation of the incident, and further findings will help manage future concerts in a better way, making crowd gathering a safer event in the future. The videos received from the site of the accident will also be determinantal in finding a better understanding of the accident.